NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

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ModerateDecember 1996 Upper North Island Ex-tropical Cyclone Fergus ( 1996-12-28 )

10-55 years

The remains of Cyclone Fergus brought heavy rain, flooding, landslips, high winds and high seas to the North Island from Northland to Gisborne, mainly affecting Northland and Coromandel. The storm caused significant damage and a CDE was declared for parts of the Waikato. A man was drowned in Northland and one person died in Thames.

North Island

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at North Island
Duration:   4  days - From the 28th to the 31st of December.
Comments:

CauseThe remnants of Cyclone Fergus. A deep depression moved southward over the North Island towards the eastern side, bringing torrential rain, widespread flooding and slips to exposed northern districts. At 6am on the 30th, the depression was centred 800km north of the Bay of Plenty. The centre passed across the Bay of Plenty overnight on the 30th/31st, but it was the moisteast to northeast flow on the southern flank that brought torrential rain.

Damage CostMajor road damage was in excess of $2.0 million ($2,600,000 2008 dollars).

Northland

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Northland
Comments:

CommentNorthland experienced heavy rain and extensive flooding.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNorthland received up to 409mm (40.9 cm) of rain.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CasualtiesAn elderly man was drowned.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere were road slips everywhere. Whananaki North, South and Russell Roads were hazardous, with large slips.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Glenbervie Forest
Map Location: -35.614501 174.334454
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBetween Ngunguru and Glenbervie 179 mm (17.9 cm) of rain was recorded in 24 hours on the 29th.

Physical CharacteristicBetween Ngunguru and Glenbervie 230 mm (23.0 cm) of rain was recorded in 24 hours on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kaeo
Map Location: -35.098261 173.776535
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaeo recorded 118 mm (11.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 29th.

Physical CharacteristicKaeo recorded 30 mm (3.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Puhipuhi
Map Location: -35.480598 174.26901
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPuhipuhi recorded 137mm (13.7 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 29th.

Physical CharacteristicPuhipuhi recorded 127 mm (12.7 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Whangarei
Map Location: -35.719519 174.298397
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWhangarei recorded 124 mm (12.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 29th.

Physical CharacteristicWhangarei recorded 55 mm (5.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Affected LifelineThere was a minor sewage overflow into Whangarei Harbour as heavy rain overflowed the Okara Park pump station.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Damage CostWhangarei District Council faces repairs of approximately $180000 from cyclone Fergus.

Auckland

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tamahunga Hill
Map Location: -36.298874 174.714362
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTamahunga recorded 160 mm (16.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 10 years).

LandslideLandslide at Brynderwyns
Comments:

DamageA slip cut the road at noon on Sunday.

DamageContracters worked continual shifts in order to cart 8000 cubic metres of rock to rebuild an underslip at the Brynderwyns.

Waikato

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Waikato
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain and strong winds lashed the Coromandel area on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

CommentRain continued until around midnight Monday 29th, which also coincided with high tide.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineAll major roads on the Coromandel Peninsula were closed as the storm battered the region. By Tuesday afternoon all roads apart from the 309 and

Damage CostTransit NZ estimates cyclone Fergus caused $1.6 million damage to State Highways in the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty areas.

Affected LifelinePower was out in some areas.

Insurance PaymentInsurance Industry Payouts totalled $1,600,000 ($2,100,000 2008 dollars).

Insurance ClaimThere were 200 insurance claims.

Total DamageDamage was put at $4 million ($5,200,000 2008 dollars).

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Coromandel Peninsula recorded 425 mm (42.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Declared EmergencyA State of Emergency was declared for the Thames-Coromandel District, the Waihi and Paeroa Ward of the Hauraki District and the Te Aroha Ward of the Matamata-Piako District at 5:11pm on the 30th and lasted until 9:15am on the 31st for outer wards, and 3pm on the 31st for Thames-Coromandel.

ImpactHundreds of holiday-makers were trapped by flood waters and had to seek shelter in Civil Defence centres.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineRoads on the peninsula were closed by slips. A massive slip blocked State Highway 25a between Kopu and Hikuai.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Golden Cross
Map Location: -37.340305 175.774554
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicGolden Cross recorded 372 mm (37.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 55 years).

FloodingFlooding at Hamilton
Map Location: -37.780816 175.272836
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Waikato River at Hamilton reached a level of 15.68 m.

Peak River FlowThe Waikato River at Hamilton had a peak flow of 586 cumecs.

FloodingFlooding at Hikuai
Map Location: -37.070762 175.773609
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Hikuai Flat area was closed due to floods and a shaky bridge.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactPauanui surf life guards rescued 9 stranded motorists who were trapped in 3 cars on the Hikuai Settlement Road on the 29th and ferried them to Pauanui in inflatable boats.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Karangahake Gorge
Map Location: -37.423552 175.725817
Comments:

Affected LifelineKarangahake Gorge on State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi was closed.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelinePaeroa Police closed Karagahake Gorge at 4.30pm on Monday when the river was already spilling over the road.

Damage CostRapairs to Karagahake Gorge costing more than $150000 will take at least a fortnight.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Damage CostDamage to the road hrough Karangahake Gorge has been assesed at about $1 million and it will need major reconstruction work in the future.

DamageLarge sections of the road were washed away as flood waters covered the road in some places on Monday the 29th, while many guard rails were dislodged.

FloodingFlooding at Kauaeranga
Map Location: -37.151024 175.600928
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKauaeranga River flooded into Rhodes Park at 9.50 pm Monday, with water levels as high as the 1985 flood.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Affected LifelineStrong winds blew trees into power lines and power was cut off from Monday morning to Tuesday morning.

FloodingFlooding at Mercer
Map Location: -37.280396 175.051333
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Waikato River at Mercer reached a level of 5.03 m.

Peak River FlowThe Waikato River at Mercer had a peak discharge of 1134 cumecs.

FloodingFlooding at Ngaruawahia
Map Location: -37.668325 175.128
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Waikato River at Ngaruawahia reached a level of 12.68 m.

Peak River FlowThe Waikato River at Ngaruawahia had a peak flow of 1050 cumecs.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Paeroa
Map Location: -37.373937 175.671378
Comments:

ImpactThere were 2000 displaced holiday makers.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaiterakauri catchment area recorded 350 mm (35.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Ohinemuri River flood not as big as the 1981 flood event (9.6 m) but still reached 8.6 m.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactEnvironment Waikato put in portable prefabricated 'stop-logs' in place on the Te Aroha side of Criterion Bridge at 7.30 pm, then later put another set on the paeroa side.

FloodingFlooding at Pauanui
Map Location: -37.013103 175.860741
Comments:

Affected LifelineWater supplies in Pauanui were turned off at 10 pm on Monday 29th after the intake on the Oturu Stream became blocked. Residents had water again by 7.30 am on Tuesday 30th via the groud water intake which was unaffected by the storm.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineSlips and flooding closed roads.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at The Pinnacles
Map Location: -37.047261 175.721518
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Pinnacles recorded 426 mm (42.6 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 29th and 30th (Return Period 40 years). This was the highest recorded 24-hour rainfall to date for any place in the Coromandel.

FloodingFlooding at Rangiriri
Map Location: -37.43113 175.134897
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Waikato River at Rangiriri reached a level of 8.23 m.

Peak River FlowThe Waikato River at Rangiriri had a peak discharge of 1111 cumecs.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Tairua
Comments:

Affected LifelineSlips and flooding closed roads.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Tararu
Map Location: -37.111701 175.512923
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAt Tararu, the first high tide on the 29th was 1.44 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

Physical CharacteristicAt Tararu, the second high tide on the 29th was 1.28 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

Physical CharacteristicAt Tararu, the first high tide on the 30th was 1.39 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

Physical CharacteristicAt Tararu, the second high tide on the 30th was 1.24 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Te Aroha
Map Location: -37.536498 175.715457
Comments:

Property DamageHigh winds blew off roofs and blew in windows at Te Aroha. A verandah came off Palace Hotel, and sheets of iron were blown down the main street.

Affected LifelinePower was cut in Te Aroha for four hours on the 30th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

ImpactThere were 350 people in temporary accommodation.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentWind damaged street lights and uprooted trees but there were no road closures or evacuations.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Thames
Map Location: -37.140988 175.533107
Comments:

CasualtiesOne person was killed at Thames.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Whangamata
Map Location: -37.209197 175.878206
Comments:

Affected LifelineWhangamata had all entry roads closed.

FloodingFlooding at Whatawhata
Map Location: -37.796174 175.158608
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Waikato River at Whatawhata reached a level of 17.16 m.

Peak River FlowThe Waikato River at Whatawhata had a peak discharge of 517 cumecs.

Affected LifelineState Highway 2 between Waihi and Whangamata was closed as water from waiharakeke Stream, Hatonga Stream and Otahu River flooded the road.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineAll roads to Whangamata town were closed.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Whitianga
Map Location: -36.834317 175.692086
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWhitianga recorded 242 mm (24.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 30 years).

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineFloods also kept State Highway 25 south of Whitianga closed.

Affected LifelineWater supplies in Whitianga were cut off.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineMany roads were closed, isolating Whitianga and the surrounding beach communities.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactA few panicked holiday makers and their vehicles had to be pulled from floodwaters.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical Characteristic280 mm (28.0 cm) of rain was recorded in Whitianga in the 24 hours from midnight Sunday 28th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

ImpactAround 100 people took refuge in the Mercury bay Area School Hall on Monday night (29th) to shelter from the storm.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Evacuees20 people were evacuated from the Aladdin Motor camp late on Monday evening due to flooding.

Bay of Plenty

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Bay of Plenty
Comments:

Property DamageSevere gales brought down trees and damaged property in the Bay of Plenty.

Affected LifelinePhone and powerlines were brought down.

DamageThe centre of the low between Whakatane and Hicks Bay caused wind damage.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Waiotahi Beach
Map Location: -37.996236 177.240788
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaiotahi beach wave runup reached 4.3 m on the 30th and 31st (Return Period estimated at 10 years).

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Whakatane
Map Location: -37.967356 176.992417
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedWhakatane recorded a peak wind speed of 72 km/hr.

Gisborne

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Gisborne
Comments:

Property DamageSevere gales brought down trees and damaged property in the Bay of Plenty.

Affected LifelinePhone and powerlines were brought down.

References

Bell, R.G; Hill, A.F. (1997). Tidal and meteorological conditions for previous major sea storms at Thames.
The big wet of '98, Special Flood Edition.
Blackwood, P.L. (1997). Environment B.O.P Operations Report 97/1 March 1997. Cyclone Fergus and Drena Storm Surge, Report on the Magnitude of storm surges recorded and implications for design maximum sea levels.
"Civil Defender", The Thames Valley 1997. The Official Publication of The Thames Valley Combined District Civil Defence Organisation.
Environment Waikato. State of Emergency Declarations in the district since 1976.
Headline: Campers prepare to brave a wild night.
The Gisborne Herald, 30 December 1996.
www.metservice.co.nz / Learning Centre / Notable Weather Events Archives / 1996 - 1997 Summer / Cyclone Fergus 29 - 31 December 1996.
New Zealand Evacuations from 1 January 1886 to 1 January 2000.
New Zealand Meteorological Service. (2008). Meteorology of Extreme Rainfalls in New Zealand (Mark Pascoe, Ed.).
Headline: 409mm of rain falls in 48 hours.
The Northern Advocate, 31 December 1996.
Headline: Heads short of water after deluge.
The Northern Advocate, 31 December 1996.
Headline: Peninsula awash but worst over.
The Waikato Times, 31 December 1996.
Headline: Second cyclone heads to NZ packing rain, 220 km/h winds.
The New Zealand Herald, 9 January 1997 (Thursday).
Headline: Road slips cleared, campers return.
The New Zealand Herald, 2 January (Thursday) 1997.
Headline: Closed roads biggest disruption in bay.
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Flood news in brief.
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Karangahake Gorge road damage $1m.
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Paeroa escapes unscathed …
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Storm in a teacup?
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997(Friday).
Headline: Townships isolated.
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Water supplies cut.
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Karangahake Gorge delays likely.
Hauraki Herald, 10 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Storm-hit roads reopen.
The Waikato Times, 2 January 1997 (Thursday).
Headline: Hard grind puts North back on road again.
The New Zealand Herald, 2 January 1997 (Thursday).

ModerateDecember 1996 Upper North Island Ex-tropical Cyclone Fergus ( 1996-12-28 )

10-55 years

The remains of Cyclone Fergus brought heavy rain, flooding, landslips, high winds and high seas to the North Island from Northland to Gisborne, mainly affecting Northland and Coromandel. The storm caused significant damage and a CDE was declared for parts of the Waikato. A man was drowned in Northland and one person died in Thames.

North Island

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at North Island
Duration:   4  days - From the 28th to the 31st of December.
Comments:

CauseThe remnants of Cyclone Fergus. A deep depression moved southward over the North Island towards the eastern side, bringing torrential rain, widespread flooding and slips to exposed northern districts. At 6am on the 30th, the depression was centred 800km north of the Bay of Plenty. The centre passed across the Bay of Plenty overnight on the 30th/31st, but it was the moisteast to northeast flow on the southern flank that brought torrential rain.

Damage CostMajor road damage was in excess of $2.0 million ($2,600,000 2008 dollars).

Northland

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Northland
Comments:

CommentNorthland experienced heavy rain and extensive flooding.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNorthland received up to 409mm (40.9 cm) of rain.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CasualtiesAn elderly man was drowned.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere were road slips everywhere. Whananaki North, South and Russell Roads were hazardous, with large slips.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Glenbervie Forest
Map Location: -35.614501 174.334454
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBetween Ngunguru and Glenbervie 179 mm (17.9 cm) of rain was recorded in 24 hours on the 29th.

Physical CharacteristicBetween Ngunguru and Glenbervie 230 mm (23.0 cm) of rain was recorded in 24 hours on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kaeo
Map Location: -35.098261 173.776535
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaeo recorded 118 mm (11.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 29th.

Physical CharacteristicKaeo recorded 30 mm (3.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Puhipuhi
Map Location: -35.480598 174.26901
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPuhipuhi recorded 137mm (13.7 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 29th.

Physical CharacteristicPuhipuhi recorded 127 mm (12.7 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Whangarei
Map Location: -35.719519 174.298397
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWhangarei recorded 124 mm (12.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 29th.

Physical CharacteristicWhangarei recorded 55 mm (5.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Affected LifelineThere was a minor sewage overflow into Whangarei Harbour as heavy rain overflowed the Okara Park pump station.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Damage CostWhangarei District Council faces repairs of approximately $180000 from cyclone Fergus.

Auckland

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tamahunga Hill
Map Location: -36.298874 174.714362
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTamahunga recorded 160 mm (16.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 10 years).

LandslideLandslide at Brynderwyns
Comments:

DamageA slip cut the road at noon on Sunday.

DamageContracters worked continual shifts in order to cart 8000 cubic metres of rock to rebuild an underslip at the Brynderwyns.

Waikato

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Waikato
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain and strong winds lashed the Coromandel area on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

CommentRain continued until around midnight Monday 29th, which also coincided with high tide.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineAll major roads on the Coromandel Peninsula were closed as the storm battered the region. By Tuesday afternoon all roads apart from the 309 and

Damage CostTransit NZ estimates cyclone Fergus caused $1.6 million damage to State Highways in the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty areas.

Affected LifelinePower was out in some areas.

Insurance PaymentInsurance Industry Payouts totalled $1,600,000 ($2,100,000 2008 dollars).

Insurance ClaimThere were 200 insurance claims.

Total DamageDamage was put at $4 million ($5,200,000 2008 dollars).

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Coromandel Peninsula recorded 425 mm (42.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Declared EmergencyA State of Emergency was declared for the Thames-Coromandel District, the Waihi and Paeroa Ward of the Hauraki District and the Te Aroha Ward of the Matamata-Piako District at 5:11pm on the 30th and lasted until 9:15am on the 31st for outer wards, and 3pm on the 31st for Thames-Coromandel.

ImpactHundreds of holiday-makers were trapped by flood waters and had to seek shelter in Civil Defence centres.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineRoads on the peninsula were closed by slips. A massive slip blocked State Highway 25a between Kopu and Hikuai.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Golden Cross
Map Location: -37.340305 175.774554
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicGolden Cross recorded 372 mm (37.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 55 years).

FloodingFlooding at Hamilton
Map Location: -37.780816 175.272836
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Waikato River at Hamilton reached a level of 15.68 m.

Peak River FlowThe Waikato River at Hamilton had a peak flow of 586 cumecs.

FloodingFlooding at Hikuai
Map Location: -37.070762 175.773609
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Hikuai Flat area was closed due to floods and a shaky bridge.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactPauanui surf life guards rescued 9 stranded motorists who were trapped in 3 cars on the Hikuai Settlement Road on the 29th and ferried them to Pauanui in inflatable boats.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Karangahake Gorge
Map Location: -37.423552 175.725817
Comments:

Affected LifelineKarangahake Gorge on State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi was closed.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelinePaeroa Police closed Karagahake Gorge at 4.30pm on Monday when the river was already spilling over the road.

Damage CostRapairs to Karagahake Gorge costing more than $150000 will take at least a fortnight.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Damage CostDamage to the road hrough Karangahake Gorge has been assesed at about $1 million and it will need major reconstruction work in the future.

DamageLarge sections of the road were washed away as flood waters covered the road in some places on Monday the 29th, while many guard rails were dislodged.

FloodingFlooding at Kauaeranga
Map Location: -37.151024 175.600928
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKauaeranga River flooded into Rhodes Park at 9.50 pm Monday, with water levels as high as the 1985 flood.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Affected LifelineStrong winds blew trees into power lines and power was cut off from Monday morning to Tuesday morning.

FloodingFlooding at Mercer
Map Location: -37.280396 175.051333
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Waikato River at Mercer reached a level of 5.03 m.

Peak River FlowThe Waikato River at Mercer had a peak discharge of 1134 cumecs.

FloodingFlooding at Ngaruawahia
Map Location: -37.668325 175.128
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Waikato River at Ngaruawahia reached a level of 12.68 m.

Peak River FlowThe Waikato River at Ngaruawahia had a peak flow of 1050 cumecs.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Paeroa
Map Location: -37.373937 175.671378
Comments:

ImpactThere were 2000 displaced holiday makers.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaiterakauri catchment area recorded 350 mm (35.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Ohinemuri River flood not as big as the 1981 flood event (9.6 m) but still reached 8.6 m.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactEnvironment Waikato put in portable prefabricated 'stop-logs' in place on the Te Aroha side of Criterion Bridge at 7.30 pm, then later put another set on the paeroa side.

FloodingFlooding at Pauanui
Map Location: -37.013103 175.860741
Comments:

Affected LifelineWater supplies in Pauanui were turned off at 10 pm on Monday 29th after the intake on the Oturu Stream became blocked. Residents had water again by 7.30 am on Tuesday 30th via the groud water intake which was unaffected by the storm.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineSlips and flooding closed roads.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at The Pinnacles
Map Location: -37.047261 175.721518
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Pinnacles recorded 426 mm (42.6 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 29th and 30th (Return Period 40 years). This was the highest recorded 24-hour rainfall to date for any place in the Coromandel.

FloodingFlooding at Rangiriri
Map Location: -37.43113 175.134897
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Waikato River at Rangiriri reached a level of 8.23 m.

Peak River FlowThe Waikato River at Rangiriri had a peak discharge of 1111 cumecs.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Tairua
Comments:

Affected LifelineSlips and flooding closed roads.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Tararu
Map Location: -37.111701 175.512923
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAt Tararu, the first high tide on the 29th was 1.44 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

Physical CharacteristicAt Tararu, the second high tide on the 29th was 1.28 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

Physical CharacteristicAt Tararu, the first high tide on the 30th was 1.39 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

Physical CharacteristicAt Tararu, the second high tide on the 30th was 1.24 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Te Aroha
Map Location: -37.536498 175.715457
Comments:

Property DamageHigh winds blew off roofs and blew in windows at Te Aroha. A verandah came off Palace Hotel, and sheets of iron were blown down the main street.

Affected LifelinePower was cut in Te Aroha for four hours on the 30th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

ImpactThere were 350 people in temporary accommodation.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentWind damaged street lights and uprooted trees but there were no road closures or evacuations.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Thames
Map Location: -37.140988 175.533107
Comments:

CasualtiesOne person was killed at Thames.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Whangamata
Map Location: -37.209197 175.878206
Comments:

Affected LifelineWhangamata had all entry roads closed.

FloodingFlooding at Whatawhata
Map Location: -37.796174 175.158608
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Waikato River at Whatawhata reached a level of 17.16 m.

Peak River FlowThe Waikato River at Whatawhata had a peak discharge of 517 cumecs.

Affected LifelineState Highway 2 between Waihi and Whangamata was closed as water from waiharakeke Stream, Hatonga Stream and Otahu River flooded the road.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineAll roads to Whangamata town were closed.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Whitianga
Map Location: -36.834317 175.692086
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWhitianga recorded 242 mm (24.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 30 years).

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineFloods also kept State Highway 25 south of Whitianga closed.

Affected LifelineWater supplies in Whitianga were cut off.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineMany roads were closed, isolating Whitianga and the surrounding beach communities.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactA few panicked holiday makers and their vehicles had to be pulled from floodwaters.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical Characteristic280 mm (28.0 cm) of rain was recorded in Whitianga in the 24 hours from midnight Sunday 28th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

ImpactAround 100 people took refuge in the Mercury bay Area School Hall on Monday night (29th) to shelter from the storm.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Evacuees20 people were evacuated from the Aladdin Motor camp late on Monday evening due to flooding.

Bay of Plenty

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Bay of Plenty
Comments:

Property DamageSevere gales brought down trees and damaged property in the Bay of Plenty.

Affected LifelinePhone and powerlines were brought down.

DamageThe centre of the low between Whakatane and Hicks Bay caused wind damage.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Waiotahi Beach
Map Location: -37.996236 177.240788
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaiotahi beach wave runup reached 4.3 m on the 30th and 31st (Return Period estimated at 10 years).

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Whakatane
Map Location: -37.967356 176.992417
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedWhakatane recorded a peak wind speed of 72 km/hr.

Gisborne

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Gisborne
Comments:

Property DamageSevere gales brought down trees and damaged property in the Bay of Plenty.

Affected LifelinePhone and powerlines were brought down.

References

Bell, R.G; Hill, A.F. (1997). Tidal and meteorological conditions for previous major sea storms at Thames.
The big wet of '98, Special Flood Edition.
Blackwood, P.L. (1997). Environment B.O.P Operations Report 97/1 March 1997. Cyclone Fergus and Drena Storm Surge, Report on the Magnitude of storm surges recorded and implications for design maximum sea levels.
"Civil Defender", The Thames Valley 1997. The Official Publication of The Thames Valley Combined District Civil Defence Organisation.
Environment Waikato. State of Emergency Declarations in the district since 1976.
Headline: Campers prepare to brave a wild night.
The Gisborne Herald, 30 December 1996.
www.metservice.co.nz / Learning Centre / Notable Weather Events Archives / 1996 - 1997 Summer / Cyclone Fergus 29 - 31 December 1996.
New Zealand Evacuations from 1 January 1886 to 1 January 2000.
New Zealand Meteorological Service. (2008). Meteorology of Extreme Rainfalls in New Zealand (Mark Pascoe, Ed.).
Headline: 409mm of rain falls in 48 hours.
The Northern Advocate, 31 December 1996.
Headline: Heads short of water after deluge.
The Northern Advocate, 31 December 1996.
Headline: Peninsula awash but worst over.
The Waikato Times, 31 December 1996.
Headline: Second cyclone heads to NZ packing rain, 220 km/h winds.
The New Zealand Herald, 9 January 1997 (Thursday).
Headline: Road slips cleared, campers return.
The New Zealand Herald, 2 January (Thursday) 1997.
Headline: Closed roads biggest disruption in bay.
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Flood news in brief.
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Karangahake Gorge road damage $1m.
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Paeroa escapes unscathed …
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Storm in a teacup?
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997(Friday).
Headline: Townships isolated.
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Water supplies cut.
Hauraki Herald, 3 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Karangahake Gorge delays likely.
Hauraki Herald, 10 January 1997 (Friday).
Headline: Storm-hit roads reopen.
The Waikato Times, 2 January 1997 (Thursday).
Headline: Hard grind puts North back on road again.
The New Zealand Herald, 2 January 1997 (Thursday).