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Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Spring sting a winter legacy

Spring may have arrived but winter left behind a final sting to chill Wairarapa people yesterday.

Rain squalls and snow flurries enveloped the region, interspersed with brief interludes of sunshine but any sun was far too weak to prevent temperatures, which hovered between a high of 8C and a low of 3C, from having any warming value.

Light hail swept over parts of Wairarapa and higher reaches throughout the region, including Mt Bruce which had snow flurries.

According to the NZ MetService strong southerly winds were expected to persist into today.

Meteorologist Peter Little said wind gusts in most of the region had got up to 46 k/m per hour at times yesterday.

The Rimutaka Hill Road was closed on and off during the day due to treacherous conditions, strong winds and snow, and at last call had re-opened in late afternoon.

Mr Little said winds were expected to now ease and the snow level would be heightened today.

Power was cut for a time yesterday to properties in parts of Featherston, Martinborough, Masterton and Eketahuna but by mid- afternoon all power had been restored.

Featherston mother Karen Shaw and her 3-year-old daughter Rosalind enjoying the snowfall at the Rimutaka Hill Summit. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Featherston mother Karen Shaw and her 3-year-old daughter Rosalind enjoying the snowfall at the Rimutaka Hill Summit. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Featherston residents Karen and Gary Shaw took their daughters Alethea, 5, and Rosalind, 3, to the Rimutaka Hill Summit.

“It was hailing on and off all day so we thought we might see if there was a little bit of snow to play in at

up the top,” Mrs Shaw said.

“The hill was closed behind us so we couldn’t go back down. Then these really massive snowflakes started falling, and it was really magical. They were swirling all around the top of the hill.  It was a beautiful winter wonderland.”

She said snow dumped down on the hill-top “really heavily”, leaving enough to make snowmen.

“They had all the trucks there with the snow ploughs, just waiting for [the snow] to stop.”

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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