FS residents assess 'tornado' damage

Residents in Free State assess damage to boats following severe storms and strong winds

A picture taken on 23 June 2012 of a damaged boat caused by strong winds in the Free State. Rescue officials assumed the winds were the result of a tornado. Picture: NSRI

DENEYSVILLE - Subdued residents checked the damage to their boats following strong winds in the Free State which claimed the lives of two people on Saturday.

Over two dozen others were injured because of the extreme weather.

Several dinghies lied upturned at the marina, and at least three large yachts were on the gravel after being blown off their trailers.

Boats owners in Deneysville said the storm was extremely localised and passed very quickly, leaving destruction in its wake.

Several buildings in the Vaal Dam were also damaged, with a roof being blown off a house.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has been reluctant to say the strong winds were a result of a tornado.

Forecaster Carl Loots said, "We can't 100 percent say there was a tornado in the Free State."

Loots said the area where the storms occurred was more conducive to severe thunder storms.

SAWS said bad weather across the country is expected to clear up in the next few days.