Deluge stamps its mark on Bay (+ video)

By Roger Moroney, Doug Laing

A blue window in the weather was a godsend to councils and civil defence organisations yesterday as one dollop of Hawke's Bay rain ended and another prepared to fall.

The relief was shown by Napier City Council services manager Lance Titter, looking at the blue skies which by late morning were replacing the high winds and rain over the previous 24 hours and saying : "Absolutely brilliant. It has given us that very welcome catch-up time."

"It's a good break. It gives us time to get ready for the next lot."

Napier and Hastings had both seen more than 70mm of rain in less than 24 hours, and after a few hours of blue skies opened by the clouds, forecasters were saying there'll be more of the same, possibly wetter and colder, before the next sunshine's due on Tuesday.



Mr Titter said that while the city's creeks and waterways had risen significantly overnight, pumping systems had encountered "no issues".

"We're fine, we coped very well," he said. "It was intermittent rain. There were some heavy falls but then it would lighten off."

The drainage systems also coped and there was little in the way of surface water across the city.

After four hours of sunshine instead of rain the pumping results could be seen clearly at the northern end of the George's Drive creek, dropping 1.5 metres from its swollen peaks of mid-morning, when it covered a pathway as well as the outlet of a large drainage pipe.

Surface flooding, some slips and tree damage, were evident across much of Hawke's Bay, after 24-hour rainfalls possibly topped by the 107.5mm recorded at the Hawke's Bay Regional Council's Tukipo station, in southwest Central Hawke's Bay.

With the forecast for showers heading towards heavy rain and southerlies in most area during the next 2-3 days, emergency management was warning "take care."

Expectations were that some river levels might reach a 1-in-5-year level, and seas were stormy, with an easterly swell of up to 6m was expected to continue into the weekend.

Emergency services reported few major problems, apart from the rescue at near Puketitiri.

But the Fire Service in Napier had a sequence of calls to hotels and bars early yesterday, all long after closing time.

Flooding or water issues were reported at the Viceroy (formerly the Tennyson Inn) at 4.42am, the Napier RSA at 5.35am, and The Station soon after 6am.


The worst weather had been mainly south of Tutira, while else where, rain and even snow were features of the climate.

A cold snap brought snow to 800m and white-out conditions to the Central Plateau, making driving too dangerous on the Desert Rd which was closed on Wednesday night and early yesterday. In the South Island, it got down to -4C in parts of central Otago overnight and a chilly -6C at Lake Pukaki north of Twizel.

Forecasters said the cold southerly weather would push right over the country through the weekend.

Sunny Hawke's Bay can expect its sunny reputation with at least five consecutive days of fine and dry weather forecast from Tuesday by MetService.

• In April 2011 Napier was hit by a rain bomb which delivered 174mm in just nine hours, causing stormwater and sewerage system problems in some areas of the city. During that deluge a council spokesman said despite the intense rain they had "just" managed to cope.

The introduction of the new stormwater system which is under construction across Hastings St and Tennyson St to the seafront outlet will ensure large quantities of water can be handled.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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