Cyclist hurt as flash flooding hits streets

By Sam Hurley

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A Napier cyclist was the only casualty of yesterday afternoon's flash lightning and thunderstorm that briefly flooded streets and popped manholes across the region.

The cyclist, in his 30s, suffered a badly broken leg after being hit by a car about 5pm.

Napier Police constable Mark Brinsdon said the extreme weather had caused poor visibility and greasy roads and was a contributing factor to the accident.

Last night the man was listed in a stable condition in Hawke's Bay Hospital.

Metservice's severe weather forecaster Erick Brenstrum said the thunder and lightning the region endured was a "local product" but that Manawatu, Wanganui, Taranaki and Bay of Plenty had also experienced a brief thunderstorm.

"In the hour between between 4pm-5pm the Hastings area had 10.6ml of rainfall," Mr Brenstrum said. The flash storm had come from the southwest and also resulted in surface flooding in Hastings and Havelock North.

Mr Brenstrum said in a region that desperately needed rainfall a thunderstorm was often not the most ideal scenario for farmers.

"Thunderstorms come and go very quickly.

"One farm may receive some rain, but 5km down the road farms can completely miss out," he said.

Jane Redward who lives on a farm in Maraekakaho, just out of Hastings, said she had been watching the black clouds head her way in the afternoon with delight.

"We are desperate for rain, and although we had some, it was nothing to what we saw Hastings getting," she said.

Lyn McConchie who records rainfall on her farm in the upper Norsewood plateau said she received about 6.0ml in the space of 10 minutes.

"We have had small amounts of rain here on and off since last Wednesday with a total of 24ml," she said.

Mr Brenstrum said thunderstorms of that nature tended to last between 30 and 60 minutes.

Because of cooling ground temperatures at the end of the day any further thunder and lightning would dissolve quickly.

He said Hastings and Napier could expect some morning showers tomorrow but that the thunderstorms had well and truly passed.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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