NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

XML

ExtremeFebruary 1868 New Zealand Storm ( 1868-02-01 )

Heavy rain, flooding, high winds and high seas were experienced throughout much of New Zealand. There was extensive flooding in Canterbury and Otago. 37 casualties were reported during the event.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   6  days - From the 1st till the 6th of February.
Comments:

CauseIt appeared to have been an ex-tropical cyclone. Reports from the Marlborough area were of a period of easterly gales followed by strong northerlies, and atmospheric pressure reaching a minimum of 968 hPa. At New Plymouth, there was similar pressure, with southeast gales giving way to a dead calm, then southwest gales, soon afterwards turning to northwest gales.

DamageNew Zealand was hit by large storm over the 3rd and 4th, which resulted in loss of shipping, buildings and road infrastructure.

CasualtiesThe storm claimed at least 25 lives, with 37 deaths reported.

Damage12 shipwreckes occurred over the period of the storm.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

DamageA large amount of damage was done after heavy rainfall.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

DamageThe total tonnage destroyed in the shipwrecks at Hokianga, Napier, Amuri Bluff, Banks Peninsula, Oamaru and Timaru was 2,585 tonnes - nearly half of all the tonnage lost during the whole year.

South Island

FloodingFlooding at South Island
Comments:

CommentAlmost the whole east coast of the South Island was flooded. There was widespread flooding from Marlborough to Otago and also in Nelson.

Affected LifelineCommunication between Christchurch and the West Coast was stopped.

CommentThe flooding in the south of the South Island caused damage unequalled until similar events in 1945.

Northland

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Hokianga Harbour
Map Location: -35.481723 173.391037
Comments:

CommentGales prevailed from the 1st to the 3rd.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

DamageThe brig Fortune struck a reef about 6 miles (10 km) north of the Bluff Head and 10 miles (16 km) south of Hokianga shortly after midnight on the 3rd during a south-east gale, and became a total wreck.

CommentThe sea was very high at the time.

CasualtiesNine (books report seven) crew members were drowned.

InjuriesOnly one man survived, being washed ashore unconscious at about 3am.

Auckland

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Auckland
Comments:

CommentA cyclone was encountered off the coast on the 1st.

CommentIt was the severest gale experienced for years past.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Auckland City
Map Location: -36.852397 174.762337
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe barometer showed a decline unparallaled in the experience of old residents. On the 1st the barometer stood at 29.86. At sunset on the 2nd the barometer showed 29.10, and on the morning of the 3rd the barometer was at its lowest, showing 28.22.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

ImpactAn easterly gale caused problems for shipping around Auckland from the 2nd till the 4th. On the 2nd, vessels dragged their moorings and small boats broke adrift in the harbour.

CommentOn the 5th, the wind shifted round to the north-west and the weather was fine.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at North Head
Map Location: -36.828103 174.813853
Comments:

DamageThe brig Princess Alice struck the Rough Rock outside the North Head during the gales. She was damaged, needing a new keel and bilge.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Omaha
Map Location: -36.332131 174.774781
Comments:

DamageThe ketch Speedwell was driven ashore at Omaha during the gale and was damaged.

Waikato

FloodingFlooding at Thames
Map Location: -37.140988 175.533107
Comments:

ImpactHeavy rains caused a sudden rise in the Thames River on the 3rd. A number of vessels were driven from their moorings and carried out to the sandspit.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

DamageThe cutter Glitter was driven out to sea from the Thames River on the 4th and brought off Tararu Point, where she became a wreck.

Hawke's Bay

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Hawke's Bay
Comments:

DamageA ship was lost off the coast of Hawke's Bay in a northeasterly gale.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Napier
Map Location: -39.502426 176.892804
Comments:

DamageThe ship Echunga broke from her moorings and was driven ashore at Napier on the 3rd, becoming a total wreck.

Property Damage1,850 bales of wool on board were lost.

Marlborough

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Marlborough
Comments:

CommentRain commenced to fall at 1pm from the South-east.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Stock DamageA great number of stock were starved to death by the rain and wind. Further south a great number of sheep were drowned. One farmer lost nearly the whole of his stock.

DamageRivers further south damaged fencing.

CommentThe whole of the Wairau Plain from above Blenheim to the sea was described as one vast sheet of water.

FloodingFlooding at Awatere River
Map Location: -41.672521 173.995712
Comments:

CommentThe flood in the Awatere was the highest ever known by the oldest residents in the district.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Blenheim
Map Location: -41.517124 173.949021
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBlenheim received an estimated 90 mm (9.0 cm) of rain in 48 hours, but an accident occurred to the gauge on one of the days involved.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe Taylor River came down the Pass in an immense volume.

ImpactBlenheim was submerged by flood waters, being overwhelmed in a very short time.

FloodingFlooding at Fairhall River
Map Location: -41.560205 173.851333
Comments:

DamageAt the Fairhall, on the east bank, the manuka groin was washed away.

FloodingFlooding at Kaituna
Map Location: -41.462412 173.800385
Comments:

CommentThe flood in Kaituna on the 2nd was the severest known in the district.

Property DamageGreat destruction of property occurred. Fences were destroyed.

Affected LifelineAbout 30 chains (600 m) of the bush tramway was entirely swept away.

Stock DamageA large number of cattle were lost.

FloodingFlooding at Omaka River
Map Location: -41.599192 173.746871
Comments:

CommentThe Omaka became swollen.

FloodingFlooding at Pelorus Bridge
Map Location: -41.296759 173.563139
Comments:

CommentThe flood at Pelorus was unprecedented in the memory of the oldest Maori settlers there.

Stock DamageA number of cattle and horses were drowned.

FloodingFlooding at Picton
Map Location: -41.295063 174.011495
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe road as far as the half way house was impassable. All the bridges were washed away.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

CommentSeveral large landslips occurred.

FloodingFlooding at Renwick
Map Location: -41.510409 173.826128
Comments:

DamageAt Renwick, the flood washed up a dangerous chasm about a chain (20 m) long, 4-5 ft (1.2-1.5 m) wide and 3 ft (90 cm) deep.

FloodingFlooding at Taylor Pass
Map Location: -41.631356 173.965079
Comments:

DamageTaylor Pass Road was completely destroyed, and would take many hundreds of pounds to repair.

FloodingFlooding at Waihopai River
Map Location: -41.702753 173.490321
Comments:

CommentThe Waihopai River was running bank-high.

FloodingFlooding at Wairau Valley
Map Location: -41.560319 173.527629
Comments:

CommentThe flood in Wairau on the 3rd was the highest ever known there.

Affected LifelineThe only communication was by boat.

DamageThe loss and damage was immense. Everyone in the district suffered.

Stock DamageThere were hundreds of stock lost.

Tasman-Nelson

FloodingFlooding at Dun Mountain
Map Location: -41.34254 173.375933
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe eastern approach to Dun Mountain bridge was damaged and the western approach to the footbrige was wrecked.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Nelson City
Map Location: -41.268476 173.297338
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe barometer fell from 30.10 deg to 20.60 deg in 24 hours.

Crop DamageInjury done to fruit crops was very great.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

CommentRain came down in torrents at Nelson on the 3rd, 4th and 5th.

Physical CharacteristicNelson recorded 1.4 in (3.6 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 3rd.

Physical CharacteristicNelson recorded 4.48 in (11.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 4th.

Peak RainfallNelson recorded 7.03 in (17.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 5th (Return Period 150 years).

Physical CharacteristicNelson City recorded 292 mm (29.2 cm) of rain in 48 hours (Return Period more than 150 years).

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentThe wind blew with great violence.

Property DamageDamage was done to seven premises in the city and neighboorhood. The frame of a house in the process of erection was levelled to the ground. An immense amount of damage was done to the gardens by falling trees. The end of a schoolroom was blown in by the gale.

HailHail
Comments:

CommentHail also fell.

Hail SizeHail stones measured 1.5 in (3.8 cm) in length.

TornadoTornado
Comments:

CommentA waterspout was seen at the Maitai valley, with a height of 100 ft (30 m). It was the first waterspout ever seen in Nelson.

LightningLightning
Comments:

CommentThe rain was accompained by vivid lightning and loud thunder.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe lower end of Collingwood and Bridge Streets was completely under water.

Property DamageThe flood waters undermined the lower portions of many houses in that vicinity. Houses in neighboorhood of the Collingwood Street bridge were filled. The Brewery was washed away. The malt-house was damaged and one corner of the building was carried away.

Damage Cost£40 ($4000 2008 dollars) of coals were washed away.

CasualtiesAn old man died.

Affected LifelineA telegraph pole was knocked down.

Affected LifelineThe approach to a bridge was washed away and the lower part of the bridge had fallen in. At the Collingwood Street bridge, the roads on both sides were under water. On Brook Street a considerable portion of the road was washed away.

DamageThe embankment at the Wairoa Bridge was broken down.

CommentIt was the heaviest flood within memory of the earliest settlers.

ImpactThe Matai River rose rapidly and flooded the adjacent gardens, driving residents from their houses.

Crop DamageAn immense quantity of fruit was destroyed by the flood waters.

DamageThe Maitai River washed away a large portion of its banks.

ImpactAll the low-lying parts of Nelson were under water.

CommentThis was the third year in a row in which major flooding had occurred in Nelson at the end of January or beginning of February.

West Coast

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at West Coast
Comments:

CommentGales were reported from the West Coast.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe barometer fell to about 980 hPa.

Canterbury

FloodingFlooding at Canterbury
Comments:

CommentAll Canterbury rivers and creeks were at high levels.

CommentBoth the rivers arising in the Alps and those arising in the Canterbury foothills were in high flood at the same time.

Affected LifelineMany bridges were swept away from the Cust, Eyre and Ashley Rivers and the backwater of the Waimakakriri River.

EvacueesHundreds of people were evacuated.

CommentCanterbury was the worst affected - the flooding there is still (at 2008) the highest on record.

Affected LifelineRoad communication with Christchurch was entirely cut off for most inland townships.

CommentThe flood in South Canterbury equalled the flood of February 1945.

DamageConsiderable damage was done in country districts near Christchurch.

Affected LifelineCommunication between Christchurch and other parts of the province was abruptly stopped.

Stock DamageMore than 3000 sheep were drowned.

ImpactThe whole of the agricultural district between the Waimakariri and the Ashley was flooded to an alarming extent.

Affected LifelineSerious damage was reported to have occurred to bridges and culverts along the road between Leithfield and Kaiapoi.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

DamageThere were six shipwrecks in Canterbury.

FloodingFlooding at Ashburton
Map Location: -43.902384 171.736416
Comments:

CommentIt was the Ashburton River's highest discharge on record.

ImpactThe Ashburton business area was inundated.

FloodingFlooding at Ashley
Map Location: -43.276281 172.603789
Comments:

CasualtiesThree children were drowned at Ashley.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Bealey
Map Location: -43.033326 171.629765
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBealey recorded 3.07 in (7.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Christchurch
Map Location: -43.53112 172.636147
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicChristchurch recorded 1.50 in (3.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

CommentHeavy showers fell from 7 pm on the 2nd, with a violent gale blowing from the north-east.

CommentA great deal more rain fell upon the hills than in Christchurch.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe large overflow from the Ashley River reached the North Branch of the Waimakariri River at Kaiapoi. The Waimakariri broke out into an old course at Halkett, with one main stream overflowing into the Avon River in Christchurch.

Physical CharacteristicThe Avon River rose rapidly, and by 1pm on the 4th it was already as high as the great fresh of 1865, and was still rising. By about 12am the flood had reached its highest level.

Affected LifelineBy 3pm the Avon River overflow covered the low ground on the left bank, and streets began to flood. The overflow commenced at Gloucester Street, with the flood level with the buttresses of the Governement footbridge, Lane's Mill, Montreal Street Bridge and Worcester Street Bridge. At 10pm, the river was still rising. Half of Lane's bridge was carried away, the market place was completely under water up to Armagh Street and water was pouring across the North road, the heaviest fresh being on this side of Papanui. A heavy flood came down the Harewood road. The portion of Oxford Terrace from the Claredon Hotel to Gloucester Street was in the worst condition. The floodwaters lapped the base of the Godley statue in Cathedral Square.

Affected LifelineThe banks of the Avon River below the Madras Street Bridge were overtopped, and the road either side was flooded.

ImpactA large part of Christchurch was under water. At Lanes Mill the Governement Buildings were inundated and houses in the vicinity were flooded. Water came up to the door of a house in Scottstoun.

Affected LifelineThe road was impassable at the left bank below Madras Street.

Physical CharacteristicThe water was running clear over the old Land Office bridge and was just on a level with the Government suspension bridge. The whole of Oxford Terrace and from Worcester Street to the market place was knee-deep in water. The whole left side of the river from Montreal Street bridge to Worcester Street was one lake as deep as a horse's belly. At the Victoria bridge, the stream was swollen clear above the arch.

Physical CharacteristicWater was 2 ft (60 cm) deep in private rooms at the Magistrate's Court.

Peak Water LevelThe water was up to 1.3 m deep along Fendalton Road.

Physical CharacteristicThe Avon River rose more than 10 ft (3.0 m) above normal.

ImpactThe Waimakariri River overflowed in Fendalton and a large quantity of land was under water for miles.

Physical CharacteristicThe water rose more than 4 ft (1.2 m) in 15 minutes.

Affected LifelineWater crossed the road in a stream.

ImpactHouses all round Fendalton, unless situated on high ground, were flooded.

Physical CharacteristicOne house was flooded with water 3 ft (90 cm) deep.

Stock DamageOne Fendalton resident lost 300-400 sheep and some cattle.

Affected LifelineDuring the afternoon, all telegraph wires north and south were carried away, except between Christchurch and Lyttleton.

Property DamageConsiderable damage was done to properties.

Affected LifelineThe foot bridge connecting the eastern and western portion of Worcester Street was swept away. A portion of the northern end of Colombo bridge was destroyed.

ImpactOn each side of the river bank below Madras bridge, for a long way down, cottages were flooded with water.

CommentVery large streams of water were lying at Avonside and in the neighbourhood of the Sandhills.

Crop Damage300 acres (1.21 km^2) of crops were totally destroyed by the flood.

CommentThe flood was the result of a freak south-easterly storm.

FloodingFlooding at Clarence
Map Location: -42.156138 173.929325
Comments:

CommentThe Clarence River was higher than ever known before.

Property DamageThe flood waters washed away many acres of valuable land.

FloodingFlooding at Cust
Map Location: -43.314016 172.384732
Comments:

CommentThe Cust River was very full and overflowed.

Crop DamageSerious damage was done to grain and other crops.

FloodingFlooding at Flaxton
Map Location: -43.354224 172.627951
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Drain bridge leading to Flaxton was swept away.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Haumuri Bluffs
Map Location: -42.561154 173.508374
Comments:

DamageThe schooner Sea Bird was driven ashore and wrecked at Amuri Bluff (Haumuri Bluffs) by fierce gales on the 3rd, and became a total wreck.

FloodingFlooding at Kaiapoi
Map Location: -43.383984 172.645664
Comments:

CommentAt Kaiapoi, the inundation was more serious and widespread than in previous floods. The extent of disaster was far beyond that experienced in the memorable Christmas of 1865.

Property DamageEvery shop and house was invaded by water, with heavy losses resulting. Enormous damage was done to private property. The greatest losses were from damage to buildings and goods at Messr's Birch and Co's stores and the at the Kaiapoi Brewery.

Physical CharacteristicThe water was several feet deep in many houses.

ImpactSome families had to be removed from their homes by boat. All the land surrounding the flax mill was covered with water so deep that people could only be removed by boats.

Affected LifelineRoads were covered in water.

Affected LifelineThe girder bridge on the Rangiora Drain Road was destroyed. The swing bridge was also carried away. A portion of the Cam River bridge was damaged.

CommentThe flood made a clean sweep across the island.

DamageThe embankment at Sneyd's corner entirely disappeared.

Physical CharacteristicThe water was 3 ft (90 cm) deep in Charles Street, and had never been that deep on a previous occasion.

Physical CharacteristicOn the crown of the road in Peraki Street, the water reached a depth of 5 ft 6 in (1.7 m)

Physical CharacteristicIn Sneyd'stown (the Peraki Road area), the main street as well as Gristhorpe were soon covered by 5 ft (1.5 m) of water.

Property DamageStacks of timber were carried away and grain and wool were damaged in the stores.

Physical CharacteristicAt the Kaiapoi brewery, the water rose at least 18 in (46 cm) in half an hour, reaching the eaves of the lean to and houses.

Property DamageOne property loss was at least £2000 ($201,200 2008 dollars), of which £500 ($50,300 2008 dollars) would hardly represent the value of the stacks of timber carried away.

Stock DamageOne farmer lost over 1000 sheep. Another farmer lost horses, cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry.

Damage CostThe amount of damage was estimated to be not far short of £10,000 ($1,006,000 2008 dollars).

FloodingFlooding at Kaikoura
Map Location: -42.402255 173.685685
Comments:

Property DamageAt Kaikoura, houses and farm land were washed out to sea.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Le Bons Bay
Map Location: -43.73459 173.107208
Comments:

DamageThe schooner Breeze went ashore at Le Bons Bay on the 3rd after a heavy gale caused her to part her cables, and she became a total wreck.

DamageThe ketch Challenge was driven ashore at Le Bons Bay in strong winds on the 4th, and became a complete wreck.

CasualtiesOne man, the mate, was drowned.

FloodingFlooding at Leithfield
Map Location: -43.195184 172.727966
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Kowai River overflowed its banks, flooding White's store with water 6 in (15 cm) deep.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Lyttelton
Map Location: -43.601111 172.721186
Comments:

CommentA heavy gale raged at Lyttelton.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

DamageThe Iona was driven ashore at Lyttelton on the 3rd and became a total wreck.

Property DamageThere was cargo loss of flour and wheat.

DamageThe schooner Three Sisters was driven ashore at Lyttelton during the gale on the 3rd and quickly broke up. Several small vessels also came to grief.

FloodingFlooding at Mandeville
Map Location: -43.298545 172.669577
Comments:

ImpactThe whole Mandeville district was one vast sheet of water. Pastures, corn-fields, gardens, and even houses were submerged.

Physical CharacteristicIn most instances the water in houses was as high as the eaves of cottages.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Mount Peel homestead
Map Location: -43.836975 171.243422
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMount Peel recorded 8.08 in (20.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period more than 150 years).

FloodingFlooding at Orari River
Map Location: -43.967993 171.21592
Comments:

Peak River FlowThe Orari River had a peak discharge of 44,000 cusecs (1246 cumecs).

FloodingFlooding at Rangiora
Map Location: -43.309917 172.570905
Comments:

CommentAt Rangiora, the Ashley River broke its banks.

InjuriesA man and wife were rescued from their home in very exhausted state.

CasualtiesTwo of their children were drowned.

ImpactIn the neighbourhood of Rangiora, the Cust, the Eyre and the Drain combined with the Waimakariri River to flood the Rangiora swamp, converting it into a huge lake.

ImpactThe Church Bush and Maori Bush were completely flooded.

Crop DamageThe potato crops were all destroyed. A very extensive portion of grain crops were also under water.

ImpactSeveral inhabitants had to clear out of their houses in the face of rushing water coming in from the Ashley River. The banks had given way near the Lion hotel at a point near Baugh's asembly rooms and public house.

Affected LifelineThe bridge at the Cam mill was washed away.

FloodingFlooding at Rangitata River
Map Location: -43.98151 171.306532
Comments:

CommentThe largest flood was in the Rangitata River.

FloodingFlooding at Saltwater Creek
Map Location: -43.264896 172.70856
Comments:

CommentThe Ashley River overflowed at the bridge.

Affected LifelineThe Ashley bridge was damaged and the Saltwater Creek bridge was impassable. Culverts were also destroyed.

Property DamageCameron's general store was washed out to sea at Saltwater Creek.

FloodingFlooding at Selwyn
Map Location: -43.64885 172.231973
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe costly new bridge at Selwyn was a complete wreck.

FloodingFlooding at Selwyn River
Map Location: -43.6641 172.294396
Comments:

CommentThe Selwyn River formed an enormous lake.

CommentThe flood in the Selwyn River was greater than had ever been known.

FloodingFlooding at Swyncombe homestead
Map Location: -42.354872 173.535276
Comments:

Property DamageAt Swyncombe, a creek behind a house washed away the garden.

Stock DamageCattle and sheep were reported to be drowned in this area.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Timaru
Map Location: -44.398445 171.2552
Comments:

DamageThe steamer William Miskin was wrecked at Timaru on the 4th by heavy seas and south-west gales.

CasualtiesOne crew member drowned.

FloodingFlooding at Waimakariri River
Map Location: -43.459744 172.289962
Comments:

CommentThe flood in the Waimakariri River was the greatest flood known up to that time.

Otago

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Otago
Comments:

CommentThe heaviest fall of rain appeared to be confined to the Kakanui, Dunstan and Mount Pisa Ranges.

CommentThe Dunstan district experienced one of its heaviest falls of rain ever known.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThroughout a large portion of the province the waters rose greatly during the night of the 4th and on the 5th.

CommentThere had never been a series of floods with comparable destructiveness.

Affected LifelineTraffic was greatly disrupted throughout the region. Public coaches were delayed or had to turn back. On the 5th, no wheeled vehicle could get further south of Dunedin than the 17-mile post. The road between Alexandra and Cromwell was impassable until the evening of the 5th. Roads in the Dunstan district were badly cut up.

CommentThe mail was transported by a boat, which floated over many fences.

Affected LifelineTelegraph communication from Dunedin could reach no further north than Waikouaiti.

Affected LifelineBetween Oamaru and Waikouaiti, scarely a bridge or culvert was left on the 6th.

Property DamageAn immense of amount of damage was done on farms and runs.

DamageComparatively little damage was done in the Clutha area.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

DamageThere were three shipwrecks in Otago. All the vessels were wrecked within short time of breaking their moorings.

LandslideLandslide at Arrow Junction
Map Location: -44.976653 168.844186
Comments:

Affected LifelineAt Arrow Bluff, a large retaining wall slipped into the river, carrying hundreds of tons of debris with it. The road was left completely impassable and traffic between Arrow Bluff and the lakes was completely cut off.

FloodingFlooding at Clyde
Map Location: -45.187564 169.329189
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAt Clyde, the Manuherikia River rose 3 ft (90 cm) higher on the 5th than in the great flood of September 1866.

FloodingFlooding at Dunedin
Map Location: -45.87911 170.502707
Comments:

Affected LifelineThree bridges were swept away or partially destroyed. The stone bridge at Abbotts Creek was completely swept away. Extensive flooding occurred at Dundas Street Bridge, where a considerable portion of the left bank was washed away.

ImpactIn the Kaikorai Valley the river inundated a large portion all along its banks.

Crop DamageConsiderable damage was done to crops along the Kaikorai Stream.

Property DamageA portion of fence was entangled in a house built for the Green Island Band and was swept away.

ImpactThe Mill dam yielded.

CommentThe waters at Green Island began to subside at about 1am on the 4th.

Affected LifelineOn the 6th, Rattray Street and Macclaggan Street suddenly flooded as they did on the night of the 3rd, and tons of debris was left in Rattray Street.

DamageConsiderable damage occurred in the lower reaches of the Leith. Approximately one acre of the Botanical Gardens was swept away.

Affected LifelineThe flood made a breach into the road at the north end of Valley Road bridge.

Property DamageConsiderable damage was done to property between North East Valley and Pelichet Bay.

LightningLightning
Comments:

CommentThere was a terrible thunderstorm in Dunedin on the afternoon of the 6th.

FloodingFlooding at Flag Swamp
Map Location: -45.552905 170.684395
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Flag Swamp bridge was totally unsafe to cross.

FloodingFlooding at Glenore
Map Location: -46.096978 169.871701
Comments:

Affected LifelineAt Glenore, part of the bridge was swept away.

FloodingFlooding at Kakanui
Map Location: -45.179058 170.909659
Comments:

Property DamageAt Kakanui, the fellmongery and houses were swept away.

Physical CharacteristicAt Messrs Douglas, Alderson and Co's flour mill, the water rose to over the first floor of the second storey.

ImpactDead sheep were strewn along the sea beach and the sides of the creeks at Kakanui.

Physical CharacteristicThe Waiareka Creek was 1 ft (30 cm) over the bridge on the 4th.

ImpactThe Kakanui River was over its banks and covering the plain on either side on the 4th.

FloodingFlooding at Kakanui River
Map Location: -45.090556 170.818746
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Kakanui River was impassable.

FloodingFlooding at Kawarau River
Map Location: -45.013461 169.086724
Comments:

DamageAlong the Kawarau River culverts and embankments were carried away.

FloodingFlooding at Lawrence
Map Location: -45.914289 169.691279
Comments:

Affected LifelineIn lawrence, damage was done to bridges and roads and traffic was almost stopped.

DamageClaims on the flats were ruined.

FloodingFlooding at Manuherikia Valley
Map Location: -45.03743 169.606657
Comments:

CommentThere was disastrous flooding in the Manuherikia River on the night of the 4th.

Physical CharacteristicThe water was 3 ft (90 cm) higher than in the great flood of September 1866.

DamageCultivators on the Manuherikia Flat lost almost everything.

Property DamageFor six hours the river was almost covered with the wreck from farms. Some dwellings were washed away.

Crop DamageCrops were washed away.

Stock DamageStock were swept away.

LandslideLandslide at Merton
Map Location: -45.636541 170.590008
Comments:

CommentThere was a landslip at Merton.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Milton
Map Location: -46.123263 169.966084
Comments:

CommentA downpour of rain commenced on the afternoon of the 3rd, and increased considerably towards evening and until early morning.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Oamaru
Map Location: -45.087138 170.980874
Comments:

DamageThe ship Star of Tasmania was totally wrecked at Oamaru at 9pm on the 3rd. She broke adrift in a fierce storm, taking on water before becoming stuck and broken up by the sea. On the 4th, there was nothing left but fragments of the ship and wool scattered over miles of beach.

CasualtiesFive people were drowned - two children and three male sailors, who jumped overboard and tried to swim ashore. Two of the sailors were aged 21 and 32 years old. (New Zealand Disasters and Tragedies reports two of the seamen were aged 25 and 33 years old).

Property DamageThere was a cargo loss of 2095 bales of wool.

DamageThe ship Water Nymph was also driven ashore at Oamaru around 9pm on the 3rd, about 1/4 mile (400 m) north of the Star of Tasmania wreck. She became a total wreck.

DamageThe schooner Otago was shipwrecked in a disastrous gale on the 3rd, being driven onshore 8 miles north of Oamaru. She came ashore in two pieces, and fragments of the hull were found scattered for miles along the beach, some about 10 miles (16 km) from the jetty.

DamageThe jetty was wrecked and totally disappeared towards daylight on the 4th, and most of the surf boats at Oamaru were destroyed.

Affected LifelineThe Severn Street bridge was almost destroyed.

FloodingFlooding at Outram
Map Location: -45.859829 170.220115
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe bridge at West Taieri was greatly damaged. The embankment and viaduct on the east approach were entirely swept away for about 400 ft (122 m) and the road on the west bank was entirely swept away and encroached on the Outram township.

ImpactThe river sent a stream running through the Outram township.

Property DamageMany buildings were submerged. The Police Barracks and Court House disappeared when the site was completely washed away.

Physical CharacteristicThe Taieri River flood mark on the upstream side of the bridge was 6 ft (1.8 m) higher than any previously known flood.

Peak Water LevelThe Taieri River rose 22 ft (6.7 m) above its normal level.

FloodingFlooding at Palmerston
Map Location: -45.483857 170.721017
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Shag River rose so high that communication was cut off between both sides.

ImpactThe Shag valley was inundated.

Property DamageAt Shag Valley Flour Mill, the mill, house and stables were swept away. Glover's store was damaged.

ImpactEight people (three men, two women and three children) were stuck on the water wheel of the mill from 12am till 7am until they were rescued.

FloodingFlooding at Pleasant River
Map Location: -45.482002 170.648797
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe new Pleasant River bridge was completely washed away.

Stock DamageOne farmer in the Pleasant River area lost 100 sheep.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Queenstown
Map Location: -45.041441 168.645105
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain fell in Queenstown from the 2nd till the night of the 4th.

FloodingFlooding at Shag River
Map Location: -45.33918 170.574081
Comments:

CommentA man had a close call when his horse was washed off its feet while crossing the Shag River.

FloodingFlooding at Taieri Plain
Map Location: -45.88401 170.253762
Comments:

ImpactThe Taieri Plain was covered with an almost unbroken sheet of water.

Physical CharacteristicIn some places the water was deep enough to wash away or wash over top of houses. At West Taieri, the flood was the deepest. On the night of the 4th the water rose over the tops of several farm houses there.

Physical CharacteristicFrom the 17-mile post to Waihola, the country was covered with water 3-5 ft (90 cm-1.5 m) deep.

ImpactPeople along the river used boats to move their cattle.

Property DamageOne house on the bank of the river was washed away, and other houses were half or more hidden by water.

CommentThis flood far exceeded any the oldest resident had seen on the Taieri Plain.

CasualtiesA young man and his horse were drowned in West Taieri while he was going to help parents.

CasualtiesA man known as "German Charley" was drowned in the Silverstream.

Physical CharacteristicThe water in one house was so high on the 6th that boats rowed in and out of the dining room.

Affected LifelineA great sheet of water covered the road as far as Waihola Village to more than 3 ft (90 cm) deep on the 6th.

CasualtiesA man drowned while crossing Worree Creek.

Property DamageThe Police Camp on rising ground in West Taieri was washed away. The only building that could still be seen was the lock-up, which was carried 400 yards (366 m) away.

Stock DamageOne Taieri farmer lost 1000 sheep.

Property DamageThe loss of property in West Taieri alone equated to £15,000-£20,000 ($1,509,000-$2,012,000 2008 dollars).

FloodingFlooding at Tokomairiro River
Map Location: -46.182546 169.996672
Comments:

CommentThere was serious flooding in the Tokomairiro River on the 4th. At 3am on the 4th there was no unusual rise in the Tokomairiro River, but at 6am it had risen to height believed to have been reached only once before (several years ago).

Property DamageThe destruction of property was more than the ordinary.

CasualtiesA man drowned in the Tokomariro River on the 4th while on horseback trying to save cattle.

CasualtiesA young man drowned while crossing a lagoon. The man and horse were engulfed by a kind of whirlpool then swept away. His body was not found, but the horse was washed up.

ImpactLow-lying lands near the river were flooded to a considerable depth.

Crop DamageIn many places hay and oats were washed away by the force of the current.

ImpactOne family isolated by water attempted to escape by canoe, but had not been seen since.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Totara
Map Location: -45.138327 170.871671
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain started on the 2nd and continued through the next day and night.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Property DamageAt Totara Station, the Waiareka Creek suddenly rose at about 11pm on the 3rd and a high wall of water overwhelmed and completely washed away the carpenter's house, the blacksmith's house the smithy. Two fellmongeries were swept away.

CasualtiesNine people inside the two houses were drowned. In the blacksmith's house five people were killed - two males, one of them 45 years old, and two females, the wife and an 8-year-old girl - and in the carpenter's house four males were killed (as reported by the station manager).

CauseLater in the week, evidence was found higher up the stream that a dam of trees and debris had formed between two high banks, which gave way.

FloodingFlooding at Tuapeka Flat
Map Location: -45.95029 169.626615
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTuapeka was partly under water, with up to 2 ft (60 cm) in some houses.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waikouaiti
Map Location: -45.595137 170.657733
Comments:

CommentRain commenced on the evening of the 2nd and continued at intervals during the 3rd. Around 5pm on the 3rd heavy rain and a south-east wind began and gradually increased in violene during the night.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe flood in the Waikouaiti area was subsiding on the 5th.

Affected LifelineThe road was only traceable by telepgraph poles. There was a gap in the road where a culvert was washed away near Hineskin.

ImpactAt Cherry farm, the whole of the low lands was an immense sheet of water for 1/2 mile (800 m).

Affected LifelineSome telegraph poles were washed down and wires were broken.

Affected LifelineWaikouaiti Bridge was wrenched in two and one half was carried away, presumably due to the damming up of debris. There was no communication between the two sides of the river. All communication by coach was stopped.

Stock DamageScores of sheep were carried down the river.

ImpactWaikouaiti Beach was strewn with timber, portions of the bridge, barrels, bales of wool and other goods.

Property DamageThe Shipping Agent had 45 bales of wool, a number of large bags of floor, other stored goods, a dray and harness and a building on the banks of the river washed away.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

Property DamageAt the sandspit, several buildings storing goods were washed away or levelled by the waves.

FloodingFlooding at Waipori Falls
Map Location: -45.904678 169.972977
Comments:

Property DamageAt Upper Waipori, nothing was left of the Camp buildings except the roof of the Court House lying 1/2 mile away.

FloodingFlooding at Waitahuna
Map Location: -45.986063 169.747236
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe approach to the Waitanhuna bridge was washed away and it was impassable.

ImpactIn Waitahuna the whole flat was covered with water, in some places more than a mile (1.6 km) wide.

Stock DamageHorses and cattle were floating downstream.

Crop DamageCrops were destroyed and haystacks were seen floating downstream.

Property DamageGardens were destroyed.

Physical CharacteristicAt the Bridge Hotel, the water was level with the billiard table on the morning of the 5th.

ImpactA race about 1/4 mile (400 m) from the river was turned into a creek 14 ft (4.3 m) wide and 10 ft (3.0 m) deep.

Affected LifelineThe approach to the the Woolshed Bridge was covered in 1 1/2 miles (2.4 km) of water up to 5 ft (1.5 m) deep. The approach on the Waitahuna side was washed away.

FloodingFlooding at Whare Flat
Map Location: -45.813155 170.427005
Comments:

CasualtiesOn the night of the 3rd, Whare Creek rose to an unusual height, and a 35-year-old man was drowned.

Southland

HailHail at Invercargill
Map Location: -46.436318 168.35975
Comments:

CommentOne of the most violent hailstorms that had ever been known in Southland occurred at Invercargill on the afternoon of the 4th.

CommentDuring the morning black clouds were seen in the North and the glass indicated a storm. At about 4pm the atmosphere was oppressively sultry and shortly after, terrific thunder was accompanied with abundant hail coming down with extreme force. Invercargill only got the tail end of the storm

Hail SizeThe hail stones were the size of peas. The hail stones at Waikiwi were described as being as large as pigeon eggs and shaped like road metal.

DurationThe hail only fell for a few minutes

CommentOne Waikiwi resident had never seen hail of that size before.

Property DamageWindows on the west side of the Junction Hotel were battered in by the force of the storm.

References

Cowie, C.A.; Attwood, A.K. (1957). Floods in New Zealand 1920-53. The Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Council, Wellington, New Zealand, p.239.
Hessell, J.W.; Holloway, R.H.; Knowles, D.G.; Roberts, J.L. (1984). Scientific, Economic and Social Reviews of Natural Hazards in New Zealand. New Zealand National Commission For UNESCO, Wellington.
Hydrology Annual No.3. (1955). Soil Conservation and River Control Council, Wellington, New Zealand.
Ingram, C. W. (Ed.). (1990). New Zealand shipwrecks: 195 years of disaster at sea. (7th ed.). (Original work published 1936).
MacLean, M.; McGregor Wilke, J.; and Alexander, J.G. (????). Water of Leith and Lindsay's Creek, Dunedin.
Headline: Great flood and storm at Nelson.
The Marlborough Express, 15 February 1868.
Headline: The late floods.
The Marlborough Express, 15 February 1868.
Headline: The late storm
The Marlborough Express, 22 February 1868.
Headline: The weather.
The Nelson Evening Mail, 4 February 1868.
Headline: The weather.
The Nelson Evening Mail, 5 February 1868.
Headline: The floods.
The Nelson Evening Mail, 10 February 1868.
New Zealand disasters and tragedies, The great storm of 3rd and 4th February 1868 (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.om/~sooty/february1868.html).
New Zealand Meteorological Service. (2008). Meteorology of Extreme Rainfalls in New Zealand (Mark Pascoe, Ed.).
New Zealand's Nature Heritage. Volume 6, Great Storms. Hamlyn House, Auckland.
Headline: Unknown.
North Otago Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The Dunstan district.
Otago Daily Times, 6 February 1868.
Headline: The floods.
Otago Daily Times, 6 February 1868.
Headline: Green Island.
Otago Daily Times, 6 February 1868.
Headline: The Taieri and Waihola.
Otago Daily Times, 6 February 1868.
Headline: The Waikouaiti district.
Otago Daily Times, 6 February 1868.
Headline: The floods.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The floods: The Clutha district.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The floods: Oamaru to Waikouaiti.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The floods: Queenstown.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The floods: The Taieri district.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The floods: Tokomairiro district.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The late heavy gale.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The Dunstan district.
Otago Daily Times, 8 February 1868.
Headline: The floods.
Otago Daily Times, 8 February 1868.
Headline: Great flood in Christchurch.
Otago Daily Times, 8 February 1868.
Headline: The Tuapeka district.
Otago Daily Times, 8 February 1868.
Headline: A North Otago drama: Young girl's tragic dream fulfilled.
Otago Daily Times, 14 May 1955.
Headline: The Port of Auckland: The wreck and loss of life at Hokianga - narrative of the survivor.
paperspast.natlib.govt.nz, Source: Daily Southern Cross, 25 February 1868.
Headline: Monthly shipping summary.
paperspast.natlib.govt.nz, Source: Daily Southern Cross, 2 March 1868.
Headline: Wrecks in New Zealand in 1868.
paperspast.natlib.govt.nz, Source: Daily Southern Cross, 29 October 1868.
Headline: The Taieri district.
paperspast.natlib.govt.nz, Source: Otago Witness, 11 February 1892.
Headline: Great flood in Christchurch.
The Press, 5 February 1868.
Headline: The flood: Christchurch.
The Press, 6 February 1868.
Headline: Fourth great flood.
The Press, 12 October 1936.
Headline: Big-river flood haunts a city.
The Press, 22 September 1995.
Headline: The Southland Times, Wednesday, February 5, 1868.
Southland Times, 5 February 1868.
Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961, Volume 14, 1881.

ExtremeFebruary 1868 New Zealand Storm ( 1868-02-01 )

Heavy rain, flooding, high winds and high seas were experienced throughout much of New Zealand. There was extensive flooding in Canterbury and Otago. 37 casualties were reported during the event.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   6  days - From the 1st till the 6th of February.
Comments:

CauseIt appeared to have been an ex-tropical cyclone. Reports from the Marlborough area were of a period of easterly gales followed by strong northerlies, and atmospheric pressure reaching a minimum of 968 hPa. At New Plymouth, there was similar pressure, with southeast gales giving way to a dead calm, then southwest gales, soon afterwards turning to northwest gales.

DamageNew Zealand was hit by large storm over the 3rd and 4th, which resulted in loss of shipping, buildings and road infrastructure.

CasualtiesThe storm claimed at least 25 lives, with 37 deaths reported.

Damage12 shipwreckes occurred over the period of the storm.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

DamageA large amount of damage was done after heavy rainfall.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

DamageThe total tonnage destroyed in the shipwrecks at Hokianga, Napier, Amuri Bluff, Banks Peninsula, Oamaru and Timaru was 2,585 tonnes - nearly half of all the tonnage lost during the whole year.

South Island

FloodingFlooding at South Island
Comments:

CommentAlmost the whole east coast of the South Island was flooded. There was widespread flooding from Marlborough to Otago and also in Nelson.

Affected LifelineCommunication between Christchurch and the West Coast was stopped.

CommentThe flooding in the south of the South Island caused damage unequalled until similar events in 1945.

Northland

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Hokianga Harbour
Map Location: -35.481723 173.391037
Comments:

CommentGales prevailed from the 1st to the 3rd.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

DamageThe brig Fortune struck a reef about 6 miles (10 km) north of the Bluff Head and 10 miles (16 km) south of Hokianga shortly after midnight on the 3rd during a south-east gale, and became a total wreck.

CommentThe sea was very high at the time.

CasualtiesNine (books report seven) crew members were drowned.

InjuriesOnly one man survived, being washed ashore unconscious at about 3am.

Auckland

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Auckland
Comments:

CommentA cyclone was encountered off the coast on the 1st.

CommentIt was the severest gale experienced for years past.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Auckland City
Map Location: -36.852397 174.762337
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe barometer showed a decline unparallaled in the experience of old residents. On the 1st the barometer stood at 29.86. At sunset on the 2nd the barometer showed 29.10, and on the morning of the 3rd the barometer was at its lowest, showing 28.22.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

ImpactAn easterly gale caused problems for shipping around Auckland from the 2nd till the 4th. On the 2nd, vessels dragged their moorings and small boats broke adrift in the harbour.

CommentOn the 5th, the wind shifted round to the north-west and the weather was fine.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at North Head
Map Location: -36.828103 174.813853
Comments:

DamageThe brig Princess Alice struck the Rough Rock outside the North Head during the gales. She was damaged, needing a new keel and bilge.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Omaha
Map Location: -36.332131 174.774781
Comments:

DamageThe ketch Speedwell was driven ashore at Omaha during the gale and was damaged.

Waikato

FloodingFlooding at Thames
Map Location: -37.140988 175.533107
Comments:

ImpactHeavy rains caused a sudden rise in the Thames River on the 3rd. A number of vessels were driven from their moorings and carried out to the sandspit.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

DamageThe cutter Glitter was driven out to sea from the Thames River on the 4th and brought off Tararu Point, where she became a wreck.

Hawke's Bay

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Hawke's Bay
Comments:

DamageA ship was lost off the coast of Hawke's Bay in a northeasterly gale.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Napier
Map Location: -39.502426 176.892804
Comments:

DamageThe ship Echunga broke from her moorings and was driven ashore at Napier on the 3rd, becoming a total wreck.

Property Damage1,850 bales of wool on board were lost.

Marlborough

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Marlborough
Comments:

CommentRain commenced to fall at 1pm from the South-east.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Stock DamageA great number of stock were starved to death by the rain and wind. Further south a great number of sheep were drowned. One farmer lost nearly the whole of his stock.

DamageRivers further south damaged fencing.

CommentThe whole of the Wairau Plain from above Blenheim to the sea was described as one vast sheet of water.

FloodingFlooding at Awatere River
Map Location: -41.672521 173.995712
Comments:

CommentThe flood in the Awatere was the highest ever known by the oldest residents in the district.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Blenheim
Map Location: -41.517124 173.949021
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBlenheim received an estimated 90 mm (9.0 cm) of rain in 48 hours, but an accident occurred to the gauge on one of the days involved.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe Taylor River came down the Pass in an immense volume.

ImpactBlenheim was submerged by flood waters, being overwhelmed in a very short time.

FloodingFlooding at Fairhall River
Map Location: -41.560205 173.851333
Comments:

DamageAt the Fairhall, on the east bank, the manuka groin was washed away.

FloodingFlooding at Kaituna
Map Location: -41.462412 173.800385
Comments:

CommentThe flood in Kaituna on the 2nd was the severest known in the district.

Property DamageGreat destruction of property occurred. Fences were destroyed.

Affected LifelineAbout 30 chains (600 m) of the bush tramway was entirely swept away.

Stock DamageA large number of cattle were lost.

FloodingFlooding at Omaka River
Map Location: -41.599192 173.746871
Comments:

CommentThe Omaka became swollen.

FloodingFlooding at Pelorus Bridge
Map Location: -41.296759 173.563139
Comments:

CommentThe flood at Pelorus was unprecedented in the memory of the oldest Maori settlers there.

Stock DamageA number of cattle and horses were drowned.

FloodingFlooding at Picton
Map Location: -41.295063 174.011495
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe road as far as the half way house was impassable. All the bridges were washed away.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

CommentSeveral large landslips occurred.

FloodingFlooding at Renwick
Map Location: -41.510409 173.826128
Comments:

DamageAt Renwick, the flood washed up a dangerous chasm about a chain (20 m) long, 4-5 ft (1.2-1.5 m) wide and 3 ft (90 cm) deep.

FloodingFlooding at Taylor Pass
Map Location: -41.631356 173.965079
Comments:

DamageTaylor Pass Road was completely destroyed, and would take many hundreds of pounds to repair.

FloodingFlooding at Waihopai River
Map Location: -41.702753 173.490321
Comments:

CommentThe Waihopai River was running bank-high.

FloodingFlooding at Wairau Valley
Map Location: -41.560319 173.527629
Comments:

CommentThe flood in Wairau on the 3rd was the highest ever known there.

Affected LifelineThe only communication was by boat.

DamageThe loss and damage was immense. Everyone in the district suffered.

Stock DamageThere were hundreds of stock lost.

Tasman-Nelson

FloodingFlooding at Dun Mountain
Map Location: -41.34254 173.375933
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe eastern approach to Dun Mountain bridge was damaged and the western approach to the footbrige was wrecked.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Nelson City
Map Location: -41.268476 173.297338
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe barometer fell from 30.10 deg to 20.60 deg in 24 hours.

Crop DamageInjury done to fruit crops was very great.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

CommentRain came down in torrents at Nelson on the 3rd, 4th and 5th.

Physical CharacteristicNelson recorded 1.4 in (3.6 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 3rd.

Physical CharacteristicNelson recorded 4.48 in (11.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 4th.

Peak RainfallNelson recorded 7.03 in (17.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 5th (Return Period 150 years).

Physical CharacteristicNelson City recorded 292 mm (29.2 cm) of rain in 48 hours (Return Period more than 150 years).

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentThe wind blew with great violence.

Property DamageDamage was done to seven premises in the city and neighboorhood. The frame of a house in the process of erection was levelled to the ground. An immense amount of damage was done to the gardens by falling trees. The end of a schoolroom was blown in by the gale.

HailHail
Comments:

CommentHail also fell.

Hail SizeHail stones measured 1.5 in (3.8 cm) in length.

TornadoTornado
Comments:

CommentA waterspout was seen at the Maitai valley, with a height of 100 ft (30 m). It was the first waterspout ever seen in Nelson.

LightningLightning
Comments:

CommentThe rain was accompained by vivid lightning and loud thunder.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe lower end of Collingwood and Bridge Streets was completely under water.

Property DamageThe flood waters undermined the lower portions of many houses in that vicinity. Houses in neighboorhood of the Collingwood Street bridge were filled. The Brewery was washed away. The malt-house was damaged and one corner of the building was carried away.

Damage Cost£40 ($4000 2008 dollars) of coals were washed away.

CasualtiesAn old man died.

Affected LifelineA telegraph pole was knocked down.

Affected LifelineThe approach to a bridge was washed away and the lower part of the bridge had fallen in. At the Collingwood Street bridge, the roads on both sides were under water. On Brook Street a considerable portion of the road was washed away.

DamageThe embankment at the Wairoa Bridge was broken down.

CommentIt was the heaviest flood within memory of the earliest settlers.

ImpactThe Matai River rose rapidly and flooded the adjacent gardens, driving residents from their houses.

Crop DamageAn immense quantity of fruit was destroyed by the flood waters.

DamageThe Maitai River washed away a large portion of its banks.

ImpactAll the low-lying parts of Nelson were under water.

CommentThis was the third year in a row in which major flooding had occurred in Nelson at the end of January or beginning of February.

West Coast

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at West Coast
Comments:

CommentGales were reported from the West Coast.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe barometer fell to about 980 hPa.

Canterbury

FloodingFlooding at Canterbury
Comments:

CommentAll Canterbury rivers and creeks were at high levels.

CommentBoth the rivers arising in the Alps and those arising in the Canterbury foothills were in high flood at the same time.

Affected LifelineMany bridges were swept away from the Cust, Eyre and Ashley Rivers and the backwater of the Waimakakriri River.

EvacueesHundreds of people were evacuated.

CommentCanterbury was the worst affected - the flooding there is still (at 2008) the highest on record.

Affected LifelineRoad communication with Christchurch was entirely cut off for most inland townships.

CommentThe flood in South Canterbury equalled the flood of February 1945.

DamageConsiderable damage was done in country districts near Christchurch.

Affected LifelineCommunication between Christchurch and other parts of the province was abruptly stopped.

Stock DamageMore than 3000 sheep were drowned.

ImpactThe whole of the agricultural district between the Waimakariri and the Ashley was flooded to an alarming extent.

Affected LifelineSerious damage was reported to have occurred to bridges and culverts along the road between Leithfield and Kaiapoi.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

DamageThere were six shipwrecks in Canterbury.

FloodingFlooding at Ashburton
Map Location: -43.902384 171.736416
Comments:

CommentIt was the Ashburton River's highest discharge on record.

ImpactThe Ashburton business area was inundated.

FloodingFlooding at Ashley
Map Location: -43.276281 172.603789
Comments:

CasualtiesThree children were drowned at Ashley.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Bealey
Map Location: -43.033326 171.629765
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBealey recorded 3.07 in (7.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Christchurch
Map Location: -43.53112 172.636147
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicChristchurch recorded 1.50 in (3.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

CommentHeavy showers fell from 7 pm on the 2nd, with a violent gale blowing from the north-east.

CommentA great deal more rain fell upon the hills than in Christchurch.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe large overflow from the Ashley River reached the North Branch of the Waimakariri River at Kaiapoi. The Waimakariri broke out into an old course at Halkett, with one main stream overflowing into the Avon River in Christchurch.

Physical CharacteristicThe Avon River rose rapidly, and by 1pm on the 4th it was already as high as the great fresh of 1865, and was still rising. By about 12am the flood had reached its highest level.

Affected LifelineBy 3pm the Avon River overflow covered the low ground on the left bank, and streets began to flood. The overflow commenced at Gloucester Street, with the flood level with the buttresses of the Governement footbridge, Lane's Mill, Montreal Street Bridge and Worcester Street Bridge. At 10pm, the river was still rising. Half of Lane's bridge was carried away, the market place was completely under water up to Armagh Street and water was pouring across the North road, the heaviest fresh being on this side of Papanui. A heavy flood came down the Harewood road. The portion of Oxford Terrace from the Claredon Hotel to Gloucester Street was in the worst condition. The floodwaters lapped the base of the Godley statue in Cathedral Square.

Affected LifelineThe banks of the Avon River below the Madras Street Bridge were overtopped, and the road either side was flooded.

ImpactA large part of Christchurch was under water. At Lanes Mill the Governement Buildings were inundated and houses in the vicinity were flooded. Water came up to the door of a house in Scottstoun.

Affected LifelineThe road was impassable at the left bank below Madras Street.

Physical CharacteristicThe water was running clear over the old Land Office bridge and was just on a level with the Government suspension bridge. The whole of Oxford Terrace and from Worcester Street to the market place was knee-deep in water. The whole left side of the river from Montreal Street bridge to Worcester Street was one lake as deep as a horse's belly. At the Victoria bridge, the stream was swollen clear above the arch.

Physical CharacteristicWater was 2 ft (60 cm) deep in private rooms at the Magistrate's Court.

Peak Water LevelThe water was up to 1.3 m deep along Fendalton Road.

Physical CharacteristicThe Avon River rose more than 10 ft (3.0 m) above normal.

ImpactThe Waimakariri River overflowed in Fendalton and a large quantity of land was under water for miles.

Physical CharacteristicThe water rose more than 4 ft (1.2 m) in 15 minutes.

Affected LifelineWater crossed the road in a stream.

ImpactHouses all round Fendalton, unless situated on high ground, were flooded.

Physical CharacteristicOne house was flooded with water 3 ft (90 cm) deep.

Stock DamageOne Fendalton resident lost 300-400 sheep and some cattle.

Affected LifelineDuring the afternoon, all telegraph wires north and south were carried away, except between Christchurch and Lyttleton.

Property DamageConsiderable damage was done to properties.

Affected LifelineThe foot bridge connecting the eastern and western portion of Worcester Street was swept away. A portion of the northern end of Colombo bridge was destroyed.

ImpactOn each side of the river bank below Madras bridge, for a long way down, cottages were flooded with water.

CommentVery large streams of water were lying at Avonside and in the neighbourhood of the Sandhills.

Crop Damage300 acres (1.21 km^2) of crops were totally destroyed by the flood.

CommentThe flood was the result of a freak south-easterly storm.

FloodingFlooding at Clarence
Map Location: -42.156138 173.929325
Comments:

CommentThe Clarence River was higher than ever known before.

Property DamageThe flood waters washed away many acres of valuable land.

FloodingFlooding at Cust
Map Location: -43.314016 172.384732
Comments:

CommentThe Cust River was very full and overflowed.

Crop DamageSerious damage was done to grain and other crops.

FloodingFlooding at Flaxton
Map Location: -43.354224 172.627951
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Drain bridge leading to Flaxton was swept away.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Haumuri Bluffs
Map Location: -42.561154 173.508374
Comments:

DamageThe schooner Sea Bird was driven ashore and wrecked at Amuri Bluff (Haumuri Bluffs) by fierce gales on the 3rd, and became a total wreck.

FloodingFlooding at Kaiapoi
Map Location: -43.383984 172.645664
Comments:

CommentAt Kaiapoi, the inundation was more serious and widespread than in previous floods. The extent of disaster was far beyond that experienced in the memorable Christmas of 1865.

Property DamageEvery shop and house was invaded by water, with heavy losses resulting. Enormous damage was done to private property. The greatest losses were from damage to buildings and goods at Messr's Birch and Co's stores and the at the Kaiapoi Brewery.

Physical CharacteristicThe water was several feet deep in many houses.

ImpactSome families had to be removed from their homes by boat. All the land surrounding the flax mill was covered with water so deep that people could only be removed by boats.

Affected LifelineRoads were covered in water.

Affected LifelineThe girder bridge on the Rangiora Drain Road was destroyed. The swing bridge was also carried away. A portion of the Cam River bridge was damaged.

CommentThe flood made a clean sweep across the island.

DamageThe embankment at Sneyd's corner entirely disappeared.

Physical CharacteristicThe water was 3 ft (90 cm) deep in Charles Street, and had never been that deep on a previous occasion.

Physical CharacteristicOn the crown of the road in Peraki Street, the water reached a depth of 5 ft 6 in (1.7 m)

Physical CharacteristicIn Sneyd'stown (the Peraki Road area), the main street as well as Gristhorpe were soon covered by 5 ft (1.5 m) of water.

Property DamageStacks of timber were carried away and grain and wool were damaged in the stores.

Physical CharacteristicAt the Kaiapoi brewery, the water rose at least 18 in (46 cm) in half an hour, reaching the eaves of the lean to and houses.

Property DamageOne property loss was at least £2000 ($201,200 2008 dollars), of which £500 ($50,300 2008 dollars) would hardly represent the value of the stacks of timber carried away.

Stock DamageOne farmer lost over 1000 sheep. Another farmer lost horses, cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry.

Damage CostThe amount of damage was estimated to be not far short of £10,000 ($1,006,000 2008 dollars).

FloodingFlooding at Kaikoura
Map Location: -42.402255 173.685685
Comments:

Property DamageAt Kaikoura, houses and farm land were washed out to sea.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Le Bons Bay
Map Location: -43.73459 173.107208
Comments:

DamageThe schooner Breeze went ashore at Le Bons Bay on the 3rd after a heavy gale caused her to part her cables, and she became a total wreck.

DamageThe ketch Challenge was driven ashore at Le Bons Bay in strong winds on the 4th, and became a complete wreck.

CasualtiesOne man, the mate, was drowned.

FloodingFlooding at Leithfield
Map Location: -43.195184 172.727966
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Kowai River overflowed its banks, flooding White's store with water 6 in (15 cm) deep.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Lyttelton
Map Location: -43.601111 172.721186
Comments:

CommentA heavy gale raged at Lyttelton.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

DamageThe Iona was driven ashore at Lyttelton on the 3rd and became a total wreck.

Property DamageThere was cargo loss of flour and wheat.

DamageThe schooner Three Sisters was driven ashore at Lyttelton during the gale on the 3rd and quickly broke up. Several small vessels also came to grief.

FloodingFlooding at Mandeville
Map Location: -43.298545 172.669577
Comments:

ImpactThe whole Mandeville district was one vast sheet of water. Pastures, corn-fields, gardens, and even houses were submerged.

Physical CharacteristicIn most instances the water in houses was as high as the eaves of cottages.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Mount Peel homestead
Map Location: -43.836975 171.243422
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMount Peel recorded 8.08 in (20.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period more than 150 years).

FloodingFlooding at Orari River
Map Location: -43.967993 171.21592
Comments:

Peak River FlowThe Orari River had a peak discharge of 44,000 cusecs (1246 cumecs).

FloodingFlooding at Rangiora
Map Location: -43.309917 172.570905
Comments:

CommentAt Rangiora, the Ashley River broke its banks.

InjuriesA man and wife were rescued from their home in very exhausted state.

CasualtiesTwo of their children were drowned.

ImpactIn the neighbourhood of Rangiora, the Cust, the Eyre and the Drain combined with the Waimakariri River to flood the Rangiora swamp, converting it into a huge lake.

ImpactThe Church Bush and Maori Bush were completely flooded.

Crop DamageThe potato crops were all destroyed. A very extensive portion of grain crops were also under water.

ImpactSeveral inhabitants had to clear out of their houses in the face of rushing water coming in from the Ashley River. The banks had given way near the Lion hotel at a point near Baugh's asembly rooms and public house.

Affected LifelineThe bridge at the Cam mill was washed away.

FloodingFlooding at Rangitata River
Map Location: -43.98151 171.306532
Comments:

CommentThe largest flood was in the Rangitata River.

FloodingFlooding at Saltwater Creek
Map Location: -43.264896 172.70856
Comments:

CommentThe Ashley River overflowed at the bridge.

Affected LifelineThe Ashley bridge was damaged and the Saltwater Creek bridge was impassable. Culverts were also destroyed.

Property DamageCameron's general store was washed out to sea at Saltwater Creek.

FloodingFlooding at Selwyn
Map Location: -43.64885 172.231973
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe costly new bridge at Selwyn was a complete wreck.

FloodingFlooding at Selwyn River
Map Location: -43.6641 172.294396
Comments:

CommentThe Selwyn River formed an enormous lake.

CommentThe flood in the Selwyn River was greater than had ever been known.

FloodingFlooding at Swyncombe homestead
Map Location: -42.354872 173.535276
Comments:

Property DamageAt Swyncombe, a creek behind a house washed away the garden.

Stock DamageCattle and sheep were reported to be drowned in this area.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Timaru
Map Location: -44.398445 171.2552
Comments:

DamageThe steamer William Miskin was wrecked at Timaru on the 4th by heavy seas and south-west gales.

CasualtiesOne crew member drowned.

FloodingFlooding at Waimakariri River
Map Location: -43.459744 172.289962
Comments:

CommentThe flood in the Waimakariri River was the greatest flood known up to that time.

Otago

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Otago
Comments:

CommentThe heaviest fall of rain appeared to be confined to the Kakanui, Dunstan and Mount Pisa Ranges.

CommentThe Dunstan district experienced one of its heaviest falls of rain ever known.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThroughout a large portion of the province the waters rose greatly during the night of the 4th and on the 5th.

CommentThere had never been a series of floods with comparable destructiveness.

Affected LifelineTraffic was greatly disrupted throughout the region. Public coaches were delayed or had to turn back. On the 5th, no wheeled vehicle could get further south of Dunedin than the 17-mile post. The road between Alexandra and Cromwell was impassable until the evening of the 5th. Roads in the Dunstan district were badly cut up.

CommentThe mail was transported by a boat, which floated over many fences.

Affected LifelineTelegraph communication from Dunedin could reach no further north than Waikouaiti.

Affected LifelineBetween Oamaru and Waikouaiti, scarely a bridge or culvert was left on the 6th.

Property DamageAn immense of amount of damage was done on farms and runs.

DamageComparatively little damage was done in the Clutha area.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

DamageThere were three shipwrecks in Otago. All the vessels were wrecked within short time of breaking their moorings.

LandslideLandslide at Arrow Junction
Map Location: -44.976653 168.844186
Comments:

Affected LifelineAt Arrow Bluff, a large retaining wall slipped into the river, carrying hundreds of tons of debris with it. The road was left completely impassable and traffic between Arrow Bluff and the lakes was completely cut off.

FloodingFlooding at Clyde
Map Location: -45.187564 169.329189
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAt Clyde, the Manuherikia River rose 3 ft (90 cm) higher on the 5th than in the great flood of September 1866.

FloodingFlooding at Dunedin
Map Location: -45.87911 170.502707
Comments:

Affected LifelineThree bridges were swept away or partially destroyed. The stone bridge at Abbotts Creek was completely swept away. Extensive flooding occurred at Dundas Street Bridge, where a considerable portion of the left bank was washed away.

ImpactIn the Kaikorai Valley the river inundated a large portion all along its banks.

Crop DamageConsiderable damage was done to crops along the Kaikorai Stream.

Property DamageA portion of fence was entangled in a house built for the Green Island Band and was swept away.

ImpactThe Mill dam yielded.

CommentThe waters at Green Island began to subside at about 1am on the 4th.

Affected LifelineOn the 6th, Rattray Street and Macclaggan Street suddenly flooded as they did on the night of the 3rd, and tons of debris was left in Rattray Street.

DamageConsiderable damage occurred in the lower reaches of the Leith. Approximately one acre of the Botanical Gardens was swept away.

Affected LifelineThe flood made a breach into the road at the north end of Valley Road bridge.

Property DamageConsiderable damage was done to property between North East Valley and Pelichet Bay.

LightningLightning
Comments:

CommentThere was a terrible thunderstorm in Dunedin on the afternoon of the 6th.

FloodingFlooding at Flag Swamp
Map Location: -45.552905 170.684395
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Flag Swamp bridge was totally unsafe to cross.

FloodingFlooding at Glenore
Map Location: -46.096978 169.871701
Comments:

Affected LifelineAt Glenore, part of the bridge was swept away.

FloodingFlooding at Kakanui
Map Location: -45.179058 170.909659
Comments:

Property DamageAt Kakanui, the fellmongery and houses were swept away.

Physical CharacteristicAt Messrs Douglas, Alderson and Co's flour mill, the water rose to over the first floor of the second storey.

ImpactDead sheep were strewn along the sea beach and the sides of the creeks at Kakanui.

Physical CharacteristicThe Waiareka Creek was 1 ft (30 cm) over the bridge on the 4th.

ImpactThe Kakanui River was over its banks and covering the plain on either side on the 4th.

FloodingFlooding at Kakanui River
Map Location: -45.090556 170.818746
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Kakanui River was impassable.

FloodingFlooding at Kawarau River
Map Location: -45.013461 169.086724
Comments:

DamageAlong the Kawarau River culverts and embankments were carried away.

FloodingFlooding at Lawrence
Map Location: -45.914289 169.691279
Comments:

Affected LifelineIn lawrence, damage was done to bridges and roads and traffic was almost stopped.

DamageClaims on the flats were ruined.

FloodingFlooding at Manuherikia Valley
Map Location: -45.03743 169.606657
Comments:

CommentThere was disastrous flooding in the Manuherikia River on the night of the 4th.

Physical CharacteristicThe water was 3 ft (90 cm) higher than in the great flood of September 1866.

DamageCultivators on the Manuherikia Flat lost almost everything.

Property DamageFor six hours the river was almost covered with the wreck from farms. Some dwellings were washed away.

Crop DamageCrops were washed away.

Stock DamageStock were swept away.

LandslideLandslide at Merton
Map Location: -45.636541 170.590008
Comments:

CommentThere was a landslip at Merton.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Milton
Map Location: -46.123263 169.966084
Comments:

CommentA downpour of rain commenced on the afternoon of the 3rd, and increased considerably towards evening and until early morning.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Oamaru
Map Location: -45.087138 170.980874
Comments:

DamageThe ship Star of Tasmania was totally wrecked at Oamaru at 9pm on the 3rd. She broke adrift in a fierce storm, taking on water before becoming stuck and broken up by the sea. On the 4th, there was nothing left but fragments of the ship and wool scattered over miles of beach.

CasualtiesFive people were drowned - two children and three male sailors, who jumped overboard and tried to swim ashore. Two of the sailors were aged 21 and 32 years old. (New Zealand Disasters and Tragedies reports two of the seamen were aged 25 and 33 years old).

Property DamageThere was a cargo loss of 2095 bales of wool.

DamageThe ship Water Nymph was also driven ashore at Oamaru around 9pm on the 3rd, about 1/4 mile (400 m) north of the Star of Tasmania wreck. She became a total wreck.

DamageThe schooner Otago was shipwrecked in a disastrous gale on the 3rd, being driven onshore 8 miles north of Oamaru. She came ashore in two pieces, and fragments of the hull were found scattered for miles along the beach, some about 10 miles (16 km) from the jetty.

DamageThe jetty was wrecked and totally disappeared towards daylight on the 4th, and most of the surf boats at Oamaru were destroyed.

Affected LifelineThe Severn Street bridge was almost destroyed.

FloodingFlooding at Outram
Map Location: -45.859829 170.220115
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe bridge at West Taieri was greatly damaged. The embankment and viaduct on the east approach were entirely swept away for about 400 ft (122 m) and the road on the west bank was entirely swept away and encroached on the Outram township.

ImpactThe river sent a stream running through the Outram township.

Property DamageMany buildings were submerged. The Police Barracks and Court House disappeared when the site was completely washed away.

Physical CharacteristicThe Taieri River flood mark on the upstream side of the bridge was 6 ft (1.8 m) higher than any previously known flood.

Peak Water LevelThe Taieri River rose 22 ft (6.7 m) above its normal level.

FloodingFlooding at Palmerston
Map Location: -45.483857 170.721017
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Shag River rose so high that communication was cut off between both sides.

ImpactThe Shag valley was inundated.

Property DamageAt Shag Valley Flour Mill, the mill, house and stables were swept away. Glover's store was damaged.

ImpactEight people (three men, two women and three children) were stuck on the water wheel of the mill from 12am till 7am until they were rescued.

FloodingFlooding at Pleasant River
Map Location: -45.482002 170.648797
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe new Pleasant River bridge was completely washed away.

Stock DamageOne farmer in the Pleasant River area lost 100 sheep.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Queenstown
Map Location: -45.041441 168.645105
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain fell in Queenstown from the 2nd till the night of the 4th.

FloodingFlooding at Shag River
Map Location: -45.33918 170.574081
Comments:

CommentA man had a close call when his horse was washed off its feet while crossing the Shag River.

FloodingFlooding at Taieri Plain
Map Location: -45.88401 170.253762
Comments:

ImpactThe Taieri Plain was covered with an almost unbroken sheet of water.

Physical CharacteristicIn some places the water was deep enough to wash away or wash over top of houses. At West Taieri, the flood was the deepest. On the night of the 4th the water rose over the tops of several farm houses there.

Physical CharacteristicFrom the 17-mile post to Waihola, the country was covered with water 3-5 ft (90 cm-1.5 m) deep.

ImpactPeople along the river used boats to move their cattle.

Property DamageOne house on the bank of the river was washed away, and other houses were half or more hidden by water.

CommentThis flood far exceeded any the oldest resident had seen on the Taieri Plain.

CasualtiesA young man and his horse were drowned in West Taieri while he was going to help parents.

CasualtiesA man known as "German Charley" was drowned in the Silverstream.

Physical CharacteristicThe water in one house was so high on the 6th that boats rowed in and out of the dining room.

Affected LifelineA great sheet of water covered the road as far as Waihola Village to more than 3 ft (90 cm) deep on the 6th.

CasualtiesA man drowned while crossing Worree Creek.

Property DamageThe Police Camp on rising ground in West Taieri was washed away. The only building that could still be seen was the lock-up, which was carried 400 yards (366 m) away.

Stock DamageOne Taieri farmer lost 1000 sheep.

Property DamageThe loss of property in West Taieri alone equated to £15,000-£20,000 ($1,509,000-$2,012,000 2008 dollars).

FloodingFlooding at Tokomairiro River
Map Location: -46.182546 169.996672
Comments:

CommentThere was serious flooding in the Tokomairiro River on the 4th. At 3am on the 4th there was no unusual rise in the Tokomairiro River, but at 6am it had risen to height believed to have been reached only once before (several years ago).

Property DamageThe destruction of property was more than the ordinary.

CasualtiesA man drowned in the Tokomariro River on the 4th while on horseback trying to save cattle.

CasualtiesA young man drowned while crossing a lagoon. The man and horse were engulfed by a kind of whirlpool then swept away. His body was not found, but the horse was washed up.

ImpactLow-lying lands near the river were flooded to a considerable depth.

Crop DamageIn many places hay and oats were washed away by the force of the current.

ImpactOne family isolated by water attempted to escape by canoe, but had not been seen since.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Totara
Map Location: -45.138327 170.871671
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain started on the 2nd and continued through the next day and night.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Property DamageAt Totara Station, the Waiareka Creek suddenly rose at about 11pm on the 3rd and a high wall of water overwhelmed and completely washed away the carpenter's house, the blacksmith's house the smithy. Two fellmongeries were swept away.

CasualtiesNine people inside the two houses were drowned. In the blacksmith's house five people were killed - two males, one of them 45 years old, and two females, the wife and an 8-year-old girl - and in the carpenter's house four males were killed (as reported by the station manager).

CauseLater in the week, evidence was found higher up the stream that a dam of trees and debris had formed between two high banks, which gave way.

FloodingFlooding at Tuapeka Flat
Map Location: -45.95029 169.626615
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTuapeka was partly under water, with up to 2 ft (60 cm) in some houses.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waikouaiti
Map Location: -45.595137 170.657733
Comments:

CommentRain commenced on the evening of the 2nd and continued at intervals during the 3rd. Around 5pm on the 3rd heavy rain and a south-east wind began and gradually increased in violene during the night.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe flood in the Waikouaiti area was subsiding on the 5th.

Affected LifelineThe road was only traceable by telepgraph poles. There was a gap in the road where a culvert was washed away near Hineskin.

ImpactAt Cherry farm, the whole of the low lands was an immense sheet of water for 1/2 mile (800 m).

Affected LifelineSome telegraph poles were washed down and wires were broken.

Affected LifelineWaikouaiti Bridge was wrenched in two and one half was carried away, presumably due to the damming up of debris. There was no communication between the two sides of the river. All communication by coach was stopped.

Stock DamageScores of sheep were carried down the river.

ImpactWaikouaiti Beach was strewn with timber, portions of the bridge, barrels, bales of wool and other goods.

Property DamageThe Shipping Agent had 45 bales of wool, a number of large bags of floor, other stored goods, a dray and harness and a building on the banks of the river washed away.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

Property DamageAt the sandspit, several buildings storing goods were washed away or levelled by the waves.

FloodingFlooding at Waipori Falls
Map Location: -45.904678 169.972977
Comments:

Property DamageAt Upper Waipori, nothing was left of the Camp buildings except the roof of the Court House lying 1/2 mile away.

FloodingFlooding at Waitahuna
Map Location: -45.986063 169.747236
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe approach to the Waitanhuna bridge was washed away and it was impassable.

ImpactIn Waitahuna the whole flat was covered with water, in some places more than a mile (1.6 km) wide.

Stock DamageHorses and cattle were floating downstream.

Crop DamageCrops were destroyed and haystacks were seen floating downstream.

Property DamageGardens were destroyed.

Physical CharacteristicAt the Bridge Hotel, the water was level with the billiard table on the morning of the 5th.

ImpactA race about 1/4 mile (400 m) from the river was turned into a creek 14 ft (4.3 m) wide and 10 ft (3.0 m) deep.

Affected LifelineThe approach to the the Woolshed Bridge was covered in 1 1/2 miles (2.4 km) of water up to 5 ft (1.5 m) deep. The approach on the Waitahuna side was washed away.

FloodingFlooding at Whare Flat
Map Location: -45.813155 170.427005
Comments:

CasualtiesOn the night of the 3rd, Whare Creek rose to an unusual height, and a 35-year-old man was drowned.

Southland

HailHail at Invercargill
Map Location: -46.436318 168.35975
Comments:

CommentOne of the most violent hailstorms that had ever been known in Southland occurred at Invercargill on the afternoon of the 4th.

CommentDuring the morning black clouds were seen in the North and the glass indicated a storm. At about 4pm the atmosphere was oppressively sultry and shortly after, terrific thunder was accompanied with abundant hail coming down with extreme force. Invercargill only got the tail end of the storm

Hail SizeThe hail stones were the size of peas. The hail stones at Waikiwi were described as being as large as pigeon eggs and shaped like road metal.

DurationThe hail only fell for a few minutes

CommentOne Waikiwi resident had never seen hail of that size before.

Property DamageWindows on the west side of the Junction Hotel were battered in by the force of the storm.

References

Cowie, C.A.; Attwood, A.K. (1957). Floods in New Zealand 1920-53. The Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Council, Wellington, New Zealand, p.239.
Hessell, J.W.; Holloway, R.H.; Knowles, D.G.; Roberts, J.L. (1984). Scientific, Economic and Social Reviews of Natural Hazards in New Zealand. New Zealand National Commission For UNESCO, Wellington.
Hydrology Annual No.3. (1955). Soil Conservation and River Control Council, Wellington, New Zealand.
Ingram, C. W. (Ed.). (1990). New Zealand shipwrecks: 195 years of disaster at sea. (7th ed.). (Original work published 1936).
MacLean, M.; McGregor Wilke, J.; and Alexander, J.G. (????). Water of Leith and Lindsay's Creek, Dunedin.
Headline: Great flood and storm at Nelson.
The Marlborough Express, 15 February 1868.
Headline: The late floods.
The Marlborough Express, 15 February 1868.
Headline: The late storm
The Marlborough Express, 22 February 1868.
Headline: The weather.
The Nelson Evening Mail, 4 February 1868.
Headline: The weather.
The Nelson Evening Mail, 5 February 1868.
Headline: The floods.
The Nelson Evening Mail, 10 February 1868.
New Zealand disasters and tragedies, The great storm of 3rd and 4th February 1868 (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.om/~sooty/february1868.html).
New Zealand Meteorological Service. (2008). Meteorology of Extreme Rainfalls in New Zealand (Mark Pascoe, Ed.).
New Zealand's Nature Heritage. Volume 6, Great Storms. Hamlyn House, Auckland.
Headline: Unknown.
North Otago Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The Dunstan district.
Otago Daily Times, 6 February 1868.
Headline: The floods.
Otago Daily Times, 6 February 1868.
Headline: Green Island.
Otago Daily Times, 6 February 1868.
Headline: The Taieri and Waihola.
Otago Daily Times, 6 February 1868.
Headline: The Waikouaiti district.
Otago Daily Times, 6 February 1868.
Headline: The floods.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The floods: The Clutha district.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The floods: Oamaru to Waikouaiti.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The floods: Queenstown.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The floods: The Taieri district.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The floods: Tokomairiro district.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The late heavy gale.
Otago Daily Times, 7 February 1868.
Headline: The Dunstan district.
Otago Daily Times, 8 February 1868.
Headline: The floods.
Otago Daily Times, 8 February 1868.
Headline: Great flood in Christchurch.
Otago Daily Times, 8 February 1868.
Headline: The Tuapeka district.
Otago Daily Times, 8 February 1868.
Headline: A North Otago drama: Young girl's tragic dream fulfilled.
Otago Daily Times, 14 May 1955.
Headline: The Port of Auckland: The wreck and loss of life at Hokianga - narrative of the survivor.
paperspast.natlib.govt.nz, Source: Daily Southern Cross, 25 February 1868.
Headline: Monthly shipping summary.
paperspast.natlib.govt.nz, Source: Daily Southern Cross, 2 March 1868.
Headline: Wrecks in New Zealand in 1868.
paperspast.natlib.govt.nz, Source: Daily Southern Cross, 29 October 1868.
Headline: The Taieri district.
paperspast.natlib.govt.nz, Source: Otago Witness, 11 February 1892.
Headline: Great flood in Christchurch.
The Press, 5 February 1868.
Headline: The flood: Christchurch.
The Press, 6 February 1868.
Headline: Fourth great flood.
The Press, 12 October 1936.
Headline: Big-river flood haunts a city.
The Press, 22 September 1995.
Headline: The Southland Times, Wednesday, February 5, 1868.
Southland Times, 5 February 1868.
Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961, Volume 14, 1881.