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Monday, April 22, 2024
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More heavy rain coming our way

Saturday’s heavy rain caused flash floods in Masterton. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

Power cuts caused by bad weather

KAREN COLTMAN
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Flash floods turned sections of Colombo Rd, Queen St, Chapel St and many other Masterton thoroughfares into ponds and brought water up to residents’ doorways at the peak of Saturday morning’s downpour.

Over 24-hours the deluge filled rivers.

The southerly front came with an easterly wind on Saturday when the “full force” of Wairarapa’s downpour was felt, Metservice meteorologist Tahlia Crabtree said.

Heavy rainfall started on Friday, but from Saturday morning through to midday Sunday, 30mm of rain was recorded on many gauges.

Crabtree said this amount was well into the “heavy rain category”, as even 4mm was significant.

Rain was here to stay for “a few more days”, and there would be thunderstorms associated with it.

Rivers in Wairarapa were full to the brim on Sunday, including the Waiohine River. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

The deluge filled the region’s dried-up rivers right to the riverbank edge and ate up much of the stone river beaches. Sunday morning rain kept the water flowing rapidly down from ranges into the Waiohine and Tauherenikau rivers.

Crabtree said the southerly came up slowly from the South Island and combined with an easterly wind brought rain and a cold wind that would usually be blocked by the Tararua and Remutaka ranges to the west.

The southerly made Sunday’s expected high 12 degrees Celsius.

“The most common weather pattern for Wairarapa is a northwesterly,” Crabtree said. “But this time everyone would’ve felt the bite because the western ranges didn’t block the wind as is normally the case.

“It feels worse than it is because Wairarapa has been consistently dry for months and so this is an extreme to that.”

Coming into autumn more rain and less sunshine hours were normal. Daylight saving will end in the early hours of next Sunday.

Crabtree said that while the southerly was moving down the country there was more rain coming this week. While fine patches were expected, heavy rain would come over the next couple of days. The cold winds should, however, be gone.

“The winds will go around to the northwest so while it is wet, the days won’t have that biting wind coming in with the rain,” she said.

Farmers started rejoicing after Friday’s first downpour because it was desperately needed for crops and stock.

Much of the grape haul was in and the vines almost dormant so the rain would not affect winemakers to any great extent. The white varieties that stay on the vine longer were expected to weather the storm.

The inclement weather caused two power cuts. The first power outage was at 2am Saturday morning, affecting around 874 customers in the Carterton area. Powerco crew restored electricity to most customers by 9.30am Saturday.

A tree falling through lines in the Tinui area of rural Masterton, caused 116 customers to be without power from 4am Saturday with all restored by lunchtime.

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