NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

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ModerateApril 1931 New Zealand Storm ( 1931-04-02 )

25 years

Heavy rains and gale force winds cause damage across the lower North Island, the upper South Island and the West Coast.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   4  days - Storm raged throughout New Zealand from the 2nd until the 5th of April.
Comments:

Manawatu-Wanganui

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Manawatu-Wanganui
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain occurred on both sides of the ranges on the 5th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Peak River LevelManawatu River rose 4 ft (1.22m) in five hours to a peak river level of 8 ft 6 in (2.59m) at Fitzherbert Bridge gauge.

Peak DischargeThe peak discharge of Manawatu River was 20,500 cusecs (580 cumecs).

CasualtiesOne women drowned.

Affected LifelineTrain services were disrupted as the line was badly washed out.

Physical CharacteristicOtaki River rose 10 ft (3.05m) in one and a half hours and washed away 400 yards (366m) of north bank at Rahui to flow along a new course.

Peak DischargeThe peak discharge of Otaki River at Waihoango Bridge was estimated at 35,000 - 40,000 cusecs (991-1133 cumecs).

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Palmerston North
Map Location: -40.355525 175.616438
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPalmerston North recorded 1.2 in (3.05cm) in seven hours.

Wellington

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Wellington
Comments:

CommentWellington experienced northerly winds approaching hurricane force in gusts. This was accompanied by heavy and continuous rain which caused flooding.

CommentWellington, Otaki and Wairarapa were worst affected.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedWinds reached 81mph (130km/hr).

DamageNumerous fences blown over and a few chimneys were blown down. The verandah and roof of a shop were lifted bodily by the wind and 30 sheets of iron was torn off the roof of Kilbirnie Kinema.

Affected LifelineGale brought down the 110,000volt high tension lines and Wellington was in darkness for a few minutes.

FloodingFlooding at Lower Hutt
Map Location: -41.216677 174.934068
Comments:

ImpactIn the suburb of Taita two houses were flooded.

Affected LifelineIn the Taita Gorge, the river washed away part of the road.

Affected LifelineManor Park Bridge and the Haywards suspension bridge were swept away.

ImpactSilverstream River burst its banks and the road between Silverstream and Manor Park Bridge was underwater.

Physical CharacteristicManor Park Golf Course had 5 ft (1.52m) of water in the club house and there was considerable damage done to the course.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Wellington City
Map Location: -41.28855 174.776764
Comments:

CasualtiesA 63 year old man was blown in front of a taxi on Lambton Quay.

InjuriesA woman was injured when she was blown in front of a taxi.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kelburn
Map Location: -41.290129 174.76188
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKelburn recorded 0.55 in (1.40 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding at Hutt River
Map Location: -41.162848 174.974804
Comments:

Peak River LevelHutt River was in high flood and reached a peak level of 5.2m at Lower Hutt which was 2 ft (0.61m) higher than the flood in 1915. The water reached its highest level for 25 years.

Peak DischargeHutt River recorded a peak discharge of 59,000 cusecs (1671 cumecs).

DamageLow lying areas of the Hutt Valley were inundated.

ImpactConsiderable damage was done to properties and several houses had several feet of water in them.

EvacueesResidents had to be removed.

Crop DamageMarket gardens were ruined.

Stock DamageDead sheep were caught in fences.

Impact15 acres (6.07 ha) of land was affected.

Affected LifelineRimutaka Road had partially slipped away.

FloodingFlooding at Fernside
Comments:

Affected LifelineWashouts occurred at Fernside.

FloodingFlooding at Matarawa
Map Location: -41.049961 175.439053
Comments:

ImpactWaiohine River flooded and overflowed its banks in the Matarawa region.

ImpactA considerable amount of land was flooded and the water flowed right across the road and penetrated into the saleyards and the houses in the vicinity of the area.

FloodingFlooding at Otaki
Map Location: -40.750818 175.14738
Comments:

CommentIt was the heaviest flood in the history of Otaki.

Physical CharacteristicThe Otaki River rose 10 ft (3.05m) in one and a half hours.

Crop DamageWaters swept over hundreds of acres, damaging hundreds of pounds worth of vegetable crops.

Affected LifelineA washout on the railway at Otaki caused considerable damage.

Physical CharacteristicWater flowed through all the shops at the Otaki railway and was 4 ft (1.22m) deep at the entrance of Otaki Railway Station.

Affected LifelineTrain services were disorganised.

CasualtiesA woman died when a suspension bridge she was on collapsed. She fell into the river and drowned.

ImpactThe river in places scoured out new courses.

Physical CharacteristicMany houses were invaded by flood waters to a depth of 3 ft (0.91m).

Marlborough

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Marlborough
Comments:

CauseA low developed off Queensland coast. It deepened as it moved southeast and crossed over central South Island. This caused phenomenal falls of rain in Rai Valley and other parts of the province and lead to extensive widespread damage.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentNortherly gales affected a wide area, with Cook Strait experiencing the most severe northerly gale for many years.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactWairau River was in high flood, burst its banks at Hall's and flooded surrounding areas.

Physical CharacteristicWaihopai River carried a large volume of water. It was 9 ft (2.74m) deep over the spillway at the hydroworks.

ImpactConsiderable areas were flooded.

Stock DamageStock losses were large.

Affected LifelineRoads were blocked.

Damage CostDamage to Marlborough county roads £5,400 ($510,000 2009 dollars).

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

ImpactMuch of the country side was scarred by slips.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Seddon
Map Location: -41.674038 174.078006
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicSeddon recorded 0.44 in (1.12cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tophouse
Map Location: -41.76336 172.90389
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTophouse recorded 4.00 in (10.16cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Marshlands
Map Location: -41.44909 174.00728
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMarshlands recorded 2.5 in (6.35cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Rai Valley
Map Location: -41.22894 173.57389
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicRai Valley recorded 2.11 in (5.36cm) of rain in two hours.

Physical CharacteristicRai Valley recorded 11.40 in (28.96cm) of rain in 14 hours (which has a return period of over 150 years).

Physical CharacteristicRai Valley recorded 56.3cm of rain in 40 hours (which has a return period of well over 150 years).

CommentTorrential rain also hit Ronga and Opouri Valley.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAt Rai Valley the river rose 20 ft (6.1m).

CommentIt was the biggest flood in the Rai Valley for over 20 years.

Affected LifelineHouses and shops were surrounded by flood water and the Rai Valley settlement was entirely cut off.

ImpactHouses were threatened by water.

Physical CharacteristicCarluke Flat had 2 ft (0.61m) of water running through it.

ImpactSheds were washed half a mile down the valley.

ImpactFlat Creek was half submerged in water.

EvacueesResidents had to abandon homes.

Physical Characteristic4ft (1.22m) of water was in the township,

Affected LifelinePeople from Nelson were marooned at Rai Valley for the night.

Affected LifelinePhone communication from the town was cut off both ways.

Affected LifelineThe approache to the new Rimu Valley Bridge was washed away.

Stock DamageStock losses were large.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Yncyca Bay
Map Location: -41.12704 173.91096
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicYncyca Bay recorded 34.3cm of rain in 48 hours which has a return period of over 150 years.

FloodingFlooding at Blenheim
Map Location: -41.517124 173.949021
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicOne foot (0.30m) of water invaded the Ferry Hotel at Blenheim.

Tasman-Nelson

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tasman-Nelson
Comments:

ImpactHeavy rain from the north west caused flooding to parts of the province. The north west increased to gale force as the storm raged.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Stock DamageLarge numbers of stock drowned in the valley.

Affected LifelineTwo bridges were washed away.

Affected LifelineConsiderable damage was done to roads in the area.

Affected LifelineParts of the roadway south of Magarino Point was underwater.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

CommentBig sea was running in the bay due to the storm.

FloodingFlooding at Wakefield
Map Location: -41.40841 173.048586
Comments:

Affected LifelineAt Wakefield there was a washout about a chain (20m) in length.

FloodingFlooding at Collingwood
Map Location: -40.67771 172.684352
Comments:

CommentCollingwood experienced severe flooding.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Bainham
Map Location: -40.76378 172.568483
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBainham recorded 61.1cm of rain in 48 hours which has a return period of over 150 years.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Silverstream
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicSilverstream recorded 23.5 in (20.69cm) in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding at Murchison
Map Location: -41.804373 172.328619
Comments:

CommentBuller River was in heavyflood.

CommentFlood waters were higher than in 1906 when considerable damage was done.

EvacueesSeveral farms had to be temporarily evacuated.

West Coast

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at West Coast
Comments:

CommentThe storm caused considerable damage throughout the West Coast area.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThere were floods and washouts throughout the Buller district.

CommentSeveral rivers including Hokitika River were in high flood in south Westland.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

CasualtiesA man was killed when a slip fell on the his camp, carried him away and severed his leg.

FloodingFlooding at Berlins
Map Location: -41.85881 171.84081
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBuller River at Berlins rose 7in (17.78cm) in 10 minutes.

FloodingFlooding at Hawks Crag
Map Location: -41.85881 171.84081
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBuller River was 2 ft (0.61m) above the road at Hawks Crag.

FloodingFlooding at Seddonville
Map Location: -41.556872 171.980618
Comments:

CommentSeddonville was flooded as Mokihinui River overflowed its banks.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Karamea
Map Location: -41.245488 172.103638
Comments:

CommentFor 24 hours a strong north west wind blew.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaramea recorded 42.8cm of rain in 24 hours which has a return period of well over 150 years.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactKaramea River flooded and water entered most residences.

DamageConsiderable damage was done to roads and private property.

Stock DamageThere was loss of stock.

Affected LifelineTelephone lines broken and poles were washed out in places cutting communication with Karamea.

CommentOparara River was in high flood.

Affected LifelineMany roads blocked by slips and washouts. Karamea Road was closed and the road to Murchison via Lyell was closed and the road via Maruia was blocked by slips.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tiroroa
Map Location: -41.85027 171.73687
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTiroroa recorded 13 in (33.02cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Greymouth
Map Location: -42.451212 171.206779
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicGreymouth recorded 2.96 in (7.52cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicGreymouth recorded 3.36 in (8.53cm) of rain in 48 hours.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

CommentHigh velocity north easterly winds were accompanied by heavy rain.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentWithin the Grey district the most damage was due to the wind.

DamageThere was damage to fences, aerials, gardens, windows in the district.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentGrey River rose slightly but not dangerously.

Affected LifelineLeonard, Arney and Williams Streets flooded.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineBig slips took place on the Greymouth to Westport coastal road about 10 miles from Greymouth causing extensive damage.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Hokitika
Map Location: -42.717176 170.960959
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain caused the river to flood.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

ImpactThe spring tide and heavy seas backed up the river causing it to overflow its banks. As a result many low lying parts of the town became flooded.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Peak River LevelHokitika River peaked at 18 in (0.46m) above the top of the wharf.

Affected LifelineHokitika railway bridge had two piles shifted out of position by the impact of large logs which were carried down by the river.

ImpactFlood waters were deep enough to row boats in.

DamageHouses had damage to the carpets, mats and other furnishings.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

DamageA number of windows were broken.

References

Benn, J.L. (2005). Landslide events on the West Coast, South Island, 1867-2002. New Zealand Geographer (2005) 61, 3-13.
Cowie, C.A; Attwood, A.K.(1957) FLOODS in NEW ZEALAND 1920 -53, The Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Council, Wellington, New Zealand 239p.
NZ Met Service. (2008). Meteorology of Extreme Rainfalls in New Zealand (Mark Pascoe, Ed.).
Headline: Hurricane and Flood, Damage in Wellington district.
The Evening Post, April 4 1931.
Headline: Wind Causes Fatality.
The Evening Post, April 4 1931.
Headline: Flood damage, The Hutt Valley.
The Evening Post, April 6 1931.
Headline: Big Winds At Wellington.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Boisterous Weather.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Buller-Karamea District.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Flood at Otaki.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Report from Karamea.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: River Subsiding.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Wairarapa Inundation.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Boisterous Weather, North-West Gale Rages.
The Nelson Evening Mail, 6 April 1931.
Headline: Flood water recede, the Otaki fatality.
The Wanganui Chronicle, 6 April 1931.

ModerateApril 1931 New Zealand Storm ( 1931-04-02 )

25 years

Heavy rains and gale force winds cause damage across the lower North Island, the upper South Island and the West Coast.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   4  days - Storm raged throughout New Zealand from the 2nd until the 5th of April.
Comments:

Manawatu-Wanganui

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Manawatu-Wanganui
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain occurred on both sides of the ranges on the 5th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Peak River LevelManawatu River rose 4 ft (1.22m) in five hours to a peak river level of 8 ft 6 in (2.59m) at Fitzherbert Bridge gauge.

Peak DischargeThe peak discharge of Manawatu River was 20,500 cusecs (580 cumecs).

CasualtiesOne women drowned.

Affected LifelineTrain services were disrupted as the line was badly washed out.

Physical CharacteristicOtaki River rose 10 ft (3.05m) in one and a half hours and washed away 400 yards (366m) of north bank at Rahui to flow along a new course.

Peak DischargeThe peak discharge of Otaki River at Waihoango Bridge was estimated at 35,000 - 40,000 cusecs (991-1133 cumecs).

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Palmerston North
Map Location: -40.355525 175.616438
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPalmerston North recorded 1.2 in (3.05cm) in seven hours.

Wellington

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Wellington
Comments:

CommentWellington experienced northerly winds approaching hurricane force in gusts. This was accompanied by heavy and continuous rain which caused flooding.

CommentWellington, Otaki and Wairarapa were worst affected.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedWinds reached 81mph (130km/hr).

DamageNumerous fences blown over and a few chimneys were blown down. The verandah and roof of a shop were lifted bodily by the wind and 30 sheets of iron was torn off the roof of Kilbirnie Kinema.

Affected LifelineGale brought down the 110,000volt high tension lines and Wellington was in darkness for a few minutes.

FloodingFlooding at Lower Hutt
Map Location: -41.216677 174.934068
Comments:

ImpactIn the suburb of Taita two houses were flooded.

Affected LifelineIn the Taita Gorge, the river washed away part of the road.

Affected LifelineManor Park Bridge and the Haywards suspension bridge were swept away.

ImpactSilverstream River burst its banks and the road between Silverstream and Manor Park Bridge was underwater.

Physical CharacteristicManor Park Golf Course had 5 ft (1.52m) of water in the club house and there was considerable damage done to the course.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Wellington City
Map Location: -41.28855 174.776764
Comments:

CasualtiesA 63 year old man was blown in front of a taxi on Lambton Quay.

InjuriesA woman was injured when she was blown in front of a taxi.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kelburn
Map Location: -41.290129 174.76188
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKelburn recorded 0.55 in (1.40 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding at Hutt River
Map Location: -41.162848 174.974804
Comments:

Peak River LevelHutt River was in high flood and reached a peak level of 5.2m at Lower Hutt which was 2 ft (0.61m) higher than the flood in 1915. The water reached its highest level for 25 years.

Peak DischargeHutt River recorded a peak discharge of 59,000 cusecs (1671 cumecs).

DamageLow lying areas of the Hutt Valley were inundated.

ImpactConsiderable damage was done to properties and several houses had several feet of water in them.

EvacueesResidents had to be removed.

Crop DamageMarket gardens were ruined.

Stock DamageDead sheep were caught in fences.

Impact15 acres (6.07 ha) of land was affected.

Affected LifelineRimutaka Road had partially slipped away.

FloodingFlooding at Fernside
Comments:

Affected LifelineWashouts occurred at Fernside.

FloodingFlooding at Matarawa
Map Location: -41.049961 175.439053
Comments:

ImpactWaiohine River flooded and overflowed its banks in the Matarawa region.

ImpactA considerable amount of land was flooded and the water flowed right across the road and penetrated into the saleyards and the houses in the vicinity of the area.

FloodingFlooding at Otaki
Map Location: -40.750818 175.14738
Comments:

CommentIt was the heaviest flood in the history of Otaki.

Physical CharacteristicThe Otaki River rose 10 ft (3.05m) in one and a half hours.

Crop DamageWaters swept over hundreds of acres, damaging hundreds of pounds worth of vegetable crops.

Affected LifelineA washout on the railway at Otaki caused considerable damage.

Physical CharacteristicWater flowed through all the shops at the Otaki railway and was 4 ft (1.22m) deep at the entrance of Otaki Railway Station.

Affected LifelineTrain services were disorganised.

CasualtiesA woman died when a suspension bridge she was on collapsed. She fell into the river and drowned.

ImpactThe river in places scoured out new courses.

Physical CharacteristicMany houses were invaded by flood waters to a depth of 3 ft (0.91m).

Marlborough

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Marlborough
Comments:

CauseA low developed off Queensland coast. It deepened as it moved southeast and crossed over central South Island. This caused phenomenal falls of rain in Rai Valley and other parts of the province and lead to extensive widespread damage.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentNortherly gales affected a wide area, with Cook Strait experiencing the most severe northerly gale for many years.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactWairau River was in high flood, burst its banks at Hall's and flooded surrounding areas.

Physical CharacteristicWaihopai River carried a large volume of water. It was 9 ft (2.74m) deep over the spillway at the hydroworks.

ImpactConsiderable areas were flooded.

Stock DamageStock losses were large.

Affected LifelineRoads were blocked.

Damage CostDamage to Marlborough county roads £5,400 ($510,000 2009 dollars).

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

ImpactMuch of the country side was scarred by slips.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Seddon
Map Location: -41.674038 174.078006
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicSeddon recorded 0.44 in (1.12cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tophouse
Map Location: -41.76336 172.90389
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTophouse recorded 4.00 in (10.16cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Marshlands
Map Location: -41.44909 174.00728
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMarshlands recorded 2.5 in (6.35cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Rai Valley
Map Location: -41.22894 173.57389
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicRai Valley recorded 2.11 in (5.36cm) of rain in two hours.

Physical CharacteristicRai Valley recorded 11.40 in (28.96cm) of rain in 14 hours (which has a return period of over 150 years).

Physical CharacteristicRai Valley recorded 56.3cm of rain in 40 hours (which has a return period of well over 150 years).

CommentTorrential rain also hit Ronga and Opouri Valley.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAt Rai Valley the river rose 20 ft (6.1m).

CommentIt was the biggest flood in the Rai Valley for over 20 years.

Affected LifelineHouses and shops were surrounded by flood water and the Rai Valley settlement was entirely cut off.

ImpactHouses were threatened by water.

Physical CharacteristicCarluke Flat had 2 ft (0.61m) of water running through it.

ImpactSheds were washed half a mile down the valley.

ImpactFlat Creek was half submerged in water.

EvacueesResidents had to abandon homes.

Physical Characteristic4ft (1.22m) of water was in the township,

Affected LifelinePeople from Nelson were marooned at Rai Valley for the night.

Affected LifelinePhone communication from the town was cut off both ways.

Affected LifelineThe approache to the new Rimu Valley Bridge was washed away.

Stock DamageStock losses were large.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Yncyca Bay
Map Location: -41.12704 173.91096
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicYncyca Bay recorded 34.3cm of rain in 48 hours which has a return period of over 150 years.

FloodingFlooding at Blenheim
Map Location: -41.517124 173.949021
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicOne foot (0.30m) of water invaded the Ferry Hotel at Blenheim.

Tasman-Nelson

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tasman-Nelson
Comments:

ImpactHeavy rain from the north west caused flooding to parts of the province. The north west increased to gale force as the storm raged.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Stock DamageLarge numbers of stock drowned in the valley.

Affected LifelineTwo bridges were washed away.

Affected LifelineConsiderable damage was done to roads in the area.

Affected LifelineParts of the roadway south of Magarino Point was underwater.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

CommentBig sea was running in the bay due to the storm.

FloodingFlooding at Wakefield
Map Location: -41.40841 173.048586
Comments:

Affected LifelineAt Wakefield there was a washout about a chain (20m) in length.

FloodingFlooding at Collingwood
Map Location: -40.67771 172.684352
Comments:

CommentCollingwood experienced severe flooding.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Bainham
Map Location: -40.76378 172.568483
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBainham recorded 61.1cm of rain in 48 hours which has a return period of over 150 years.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Silverstream
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicSilverstream recorded 23.5 in (20.69cm) in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding at Murchison
Map Location: -41.804373 172.328619
Comments:

CommentBuller River was in heavyflood.

CommentFlood waters were higher than in 1906 when considerable damage was done.

EvacueesSeveral farms had to be temporarily evacuated.

West Coast

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at West Coast
Comments:

CommentThe storm caused considerable damage throughout the West Coast area.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThere were floods and washouts throughout the Buller district.

CommentSeveral rivers including Hokitika River were in high flood in south Westland.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

CasualtiesA man was killed when a slip fell on the his camp, carried him away and severed his leg.

FloodingFlooding at Berlins
Map Location: -41.85881 171.84081
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBuller River at Berlins rose 7in (17.78cm) in 10 minutes.

FloodingFlooding at Hawks Crag
Map Location: -41.85881 171.84081
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBuller River was 2 ft (0.61m) above the road at Hawks Crag.

FloodingFlooding at Seddonville
Map Location: -41.556872 171.980618
Comments:

CommentSeddonville was flooded as Mokihinui River overflowed its banks.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Karamea
Map Location: -41.245488 172.103638
Comments:

CommentFor 24 hours a strong north west wind blew.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaramea recorded 42.8cm of rain in 24 hours which has a return period of well over 150 years.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactKaramea River flooded and water entered most residences.

DamageConsiderable damage was done to roads and private property.

Stock DamageThere was loss of stock.

Affected LifelineTelephone lines broken and poles were washed out in places cutting communication with Karamea.

CommentOparara River was in high flood.

Affected LifelineMany roads blocked by slips and washouts. Karamea Road was closed and the road to Murchison via Lyell was closed and the road via Maruia was blocked by slips.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tiroroa
Map Location: -41.85027 171.73687
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTiroroa recorded 13 in (33.02cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Greymouth
Map Location: -42.451212 171.206779
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicGreymouth recorded 2.96 in (7.52cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicGreymouth recorded 3.36 in (8.53cm) of rain in 48 hours.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

CommentHigh velocity north easterly winds were accompanied by heavy rain.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentWithin the Grey district the most damage was due to the wind.

DamageThere was damage to fences, aerials, gardens, windows in the district.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentGrey River rose slightly but not dangerously.

Affected LifelineLeonard, Arney and Williams Streets flooded.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineBig slips took place on the Greymouth to Westport coastal road about 10 miles from Greymouth causing extensive damage.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Hokitika
Map Location: -42.717176 170.960959
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain caused the river to flood.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

ImpactThe spring tide and heavy seas backed up the river causing it to overflow its banks. As a result many low lying parts of the town became flooded.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Peak River LevelHokitika River peaked at 18 in (0.46m) above the top of the wharf.

Affected LifelineHokitika railway bridge had two piles shifted out of position by the impact of large logs which were carried down by the river.

ImpactFlood waters were deep enough to row boats in.

DamageHouses had damage to the carpets, mats and other furnishings.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

DamageA number of windows were broken.

References

Benn, J.L. (2005). Landslide events on the West Coast, South Island, 1867-2002. New Zealand Geographer (2005) 61, 3-13.
Cowie, C.A; Attwood, A.K.(1957) FLOODS in NEW ZEALAND 1920 -53, The Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Council, Wellington, New Zealand 239p.
NZ Met Service. (2008). Meteorology of Extreme Rainfalls in New Zealand (Mark Pascoe, Ed.).
Headline: Hurricane and Flood, Damage in Wellington district.
The Evening Post, April 4 1931.
Headline: Wind Causes Fatality.
The Evening Post, April 4 1931.
Headline: Flood damage, The Hutt Valley.
The Evening Post, April 6 1931.
Headline: Big Winds At Wellington.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Boisterous Weather.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Buller-Karamea District.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Flood at Otaki.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Report from Karamea.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: River Subsiding.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Wairarapa Inundation.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 4 April 1931.
Headline: Boisterous Weather, North-West Gale Rages.
The Nelson Evening Mail, 6 April 1931.
Headline: Flood water recede, the Otaki fatality.
The Wanganui Chronicle, 6 April 1931.