NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

XML

ExtremeFebruary 2004 North Island Storm ( 2004-02-14 )

5-150 years

A storm brought high winds, heavy rain, flooding and slips to much fo the North Island as well as the upper South Island. The lower North Island was severely affected, with 100-year floods in Manawatu-Wanganui and 50-year floods in Wellington causing millions of dollars of damage. Thousands of people were evacuated. Two people drowned in the sea at Wellington and one person was presumed drowned in the Marlborough Sounds. Trees felled on houses caused injuries to a girl in Wellington and a woman in Auckland. A person was also injured after felled power lines started a house fire.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   6  days - From the 14th to the 19th of February.
Comments:

CauseThe synoptic situation was markedly similar to that of the 1897 event - a deep low moving slowly eastwards over the North Island. A strong south-east airstream affected the southern half of the North Island. Rainfalls on the lee side of the Ruahine Range were almost as high as those in the east - an intrusion from the north of dry air with high Isentropic Potential Vorticity added deep instability to the mix. It resulted from a polar outbreak more typical of winter - but temperatures were much higher, and precipitation amounts correspondingly were much greater. There was also the presence of a striated cloud head over the southern North Island as well as striated delta further east. Striations over the North Island were moving westwards, with both wavelength and amplitude increasing with time and distance downstream, suggesting that energy was being fed into the system.

CauseA 'cold-pool' low (a depression with a core of cold air) became stationary just to the east of Hawke's Bay, and intensified as warm moist air from the tropics collided with the colder air from Antarctica.

DamageIntense rainfall and gale force winds from the 15th to the 23rd affected the lower North Island and top of South Island with extensive and severe flooding and some wind damage.

CommentThis was considered the largest widespread natural disaster to strike New Zealand in 20 years.

North Island

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at North Island
Comments:

CommentWesterly gales blasted over the North Island on the 14th.

Affected LifelineHigh winds toppled trees, blocking roads and bringing down power lines.

Physical CharacteristicWind gusts of up to 120 km/hr were recorded around the North Island on the 15th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineIn the lower North Island, 6000 gas users were affected. The main gas pipeline from the Manawatu to Hawke's Bay was closed.

ImpactAreas badly affected: the towns of Scotts Ferry, Waitotara, Fielding, Tangimoana, Longburn, Marton and Hunterville.

ImpactAreas affected as nearby rivers flooded: the towns of Woodville, Waipurakau and Martinborough, and the city of Wanganui.

Property Damage1014 farms were flood-damaged.

Stock Damage5000 sheep, and 600-1000 dairy cattle were lost.

Area20,000 ha of farmland were under water.

EvacueesIn the lower North Island, 2300 people were evacuated.

ImpactA week after the flooding started, around 1000 people remained homeless. Three months later 400 homes were still uninhabitable, with 922 people still out of their homes.

CommentLocal authorities described the floods as the most devastating in over 100 years.

ImpactThere was a major shortage of vegetables in the lower North Island after the floods, and the price of most vegetables increased by over 200% on the 25th as result. Much of the produce destined for Wellington shelves was destroyed by the floods in the Manawatu.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

CommentThe North Island experienced a weekend of heavy rain, high winds, plummeting temperatures, thunderstorms and hail on the 14th and 15th.

ImpactFirefighters in the top half of the North Island responded to over 20 weather-related incidents on the 14th.

CommentThe brunt of the heavy rain and gale force winds was borne by the South Taranaki, Wanganui, Rangitikei and Manawatu districts.

Impact100 schools in Manawatu, Wairarapa and Wellington were closed.

Affected LifelineIn the lower North Island, up to 40,000 homes, businesses and schools were affected by power cuts. 550 homes were still without power on the 20th. A week after the flooding started, power and telephones were still out in some areas.

Affected LifelineRoad closures were widespread in the lower North Island. Dozens of roads were still inaccessible a week after the floods began.

Affected LifelineWidespread rail closures occurred. The Napier-Gisborne railway line was re-opened on the evening of the 20th. The Marton to New Plymouth railway line would take an estimated seven days to repair. The main trunk rail line between Auckland and Wellington was still closed on the 21st after it was washed out north of Taihape.

Affected LifelineIn the lower North Island, 5000 homes were without phone services.

Damage CostFonterra could not collect milk from the lower North Island for 48 hours. They had to dump more than 10 million litres of milk - a total cost to the company of $5 million ($5,800,000 2008 dollars).

CommentThe dairy industry had not been affected so badly by a single event since the Edgecumbe earthquake.

Total DamageThe short-term impact (cost of damage and economic impact) from the floods and wind damage in the lower North Island was estimated at $300 million ($348,000,000 2008 dollars).

Damage CostThe damage to roads was estimated at $65 million ($75,000,000 2008 dollars).

Property DamageThe damage to farms was estimated at $159-189 million ($185,000,000-$219,000,000 2008 dollars).

Insurance ClaimPrivate claims totalled $100 million ($116,000,000 2008 dollars).

Insurance ClaimIAG had received 3500 insurance claims by the 20th.

Insurance PaymentInsurance Payouts totalled $112.0 million ($130,000,000 2008 dollars).

Property DamageUninsured damage was estimated at $200 million ($230,000,000 2008 dollars).

Damage CostDamage to roads and bridges totalled $77.6 million ($90,100,000 2008 dollars). 9300 km of roads were closed, and more than 20 bridges were damaged.

Damage CostDamage to rivers totalled $24 million ($28,000,000 2008 dollars).

Damage CostSoil conservation work totalled $10 million ($12,000,000 2008 dollars).

CommentDonations included: $700,000 from viewers of TVNZ's Holmes show, $150,000 from Wrightson, $50,000 from ANZ, $25,000 from BNZ and $20,000 from Red Cross appeals.

CommentThis was the fourth most expensive natural disaster since 1968.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

CommentWidespread rainfall totalling 65-150 mm in 24 hours occurred in population centers throughout the south-western North Island, from Taranaki to Wellington, in southern Hawke's Bay and in Wairarapa.

Physical CharacteristicUp to 300 mm (30.0 cm) of rain fell in some places.

CommentThis was New Zealand's most widespread high rainfall event, in terms of the number and percentage of stations recording 100-year ARI totals, on record. Rainfalls exceeded a 150 year return period over a wide area.

Auckland

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Auckland
Comments:

DamageHigh winds in Auckland overnight on the 15th/16th knocked down trees and sent rubbish bins rolling into streets.

Affected LifelineHundreds of homes in West Auckland were without power.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Auckland International Airport
Map Location: -37.008447 174.782053
Comments:

Affected LifelineAuckland Airport was closed to domestic flights at around 9:30pm on the 15th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Konini
Map Location: -36.929564 174.642496
Comments:

Property DamageTrees brought down power lines and caused a switchboard fire in a house on the 14th.

InjuriesOne person in the house was treated for smoke inhalation.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Lincoln
Map Location: -36.861707 174.630219
Comments:

Affected LifelineA truck crashed into a tree that had blown across the North-western Motorway near Lincoln Road on the 15th. Traffic was diverted for about an hour from 9pm.

HailHail at Pukekohe
Map Location: -37.206561 174.898162
Comments:

Crop DamagePukekohe was hit by hail in February, which destroyed much of its vegetable crop yield.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Takapuna
Map Location: -36.787162 174.755633
Comments:

InjuriesA woman was trapped under a tree and seriously injured after the tree went through the roof of her Takapuna house on the 15th. She was taken to hospital with head injuries.

Waikato

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Waikato
Comments:

Affected LifelineSeveral trees were blown down on State Highway 3 between Te Kuiti and Awakino on the 15th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Te Kuiti
Map Location: -38.3277 175.172348
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 3 at Te Kuiti was closed on the 14th when a tree blocked the road.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Te Pahu
Map Location: -37.918743 175.136248
Comments:

Property DamageMost of the roof of a Te Pahu house was blown off on the 14th.

Bay of Plenty

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Ngongotaha
Map Location: -38.076794 176.217704
Comments:

Property DamageHigh winds toppled a tree in Ngongotaha shortly before daylight on the 14th, and knocked the corner off a house.

Affected LifelineThe toppled tree also brought down power lines.

TornadoTornado at Okere Falls
Map Location: -38.017446 176.33638
Comments:

CommentA small tornado ripped through Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park at about 5am on the 14th.

DamageTrees were uprooted and the camp ground was left covered in debris. A 24-metre gum tree was plucked from a neighbouring property and dumped on the camp grounds.

DurationThe tornado only lasted for a matter of seconds.

Affected LifelinePower, telephone and water supplies were all cut.

Gisborne

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at East Cape
Map Location: -37.690942 178.549901
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicEast Cape recorded 129 mm (12.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Hawke's Bay

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Hawke's Bay
Comments:

CommentA rainstorm hit Central Hawke's Bay on the 15th, with southerly winds and heavy rain.

Affected LifelineDisruption to the gas supply was a significant issue.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe Tukituki River reached a five-year level.

DamageLow-lying valleys suffered from debris deposits, fences and gates demolished, and tracks and roads closed or completely destroyed.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

CommentMany slips occurred.

TornadoTornado
Comments:

CommentA tornado ripped through paddocks on a central Hawke's Bay farm on the 15th.

Property DamageThe tornado cut a swathe about 500m long and 15-20 m wide through the farm. It lifted century-old gum trees into the air.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Ben Nevis Hill
Map Location: -40.142679 176.665632
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBen Nevis recorded 103 mm (10.3 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a five-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Conisbie Farm
Map Location: -39.934588 176.704232
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Tukituki River at Shag Rock recorded 228.5 mm (22.9 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 12pm on the 16th. This had a 150-year return period.

Physical CharacteristicShag Rock recorded 48 mm (4.8 cm) of rain in one hour on the 15th (Return Period 150 years).

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Maharakeke
Map Location: -40.021675 176.438733
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicStation Road recorded 144 mm (14.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 60-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Mangaorapa
Map Location: -40.337665 176.495391
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMangaorapa recorded 161.5 mm (16.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 50-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Moorcock Saddle
Map Location: -39.956983 176.147954
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMoorcock recorded 155 mm (15.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 10-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Ongaonga
Map Location: -39.915653 176.427543
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicOnga Onga recorded 144 mm (14.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 60-year return period.

FloodingFlooding at Otane
Map Location: -39.894901 176.634211
Comments:

CommentSurface flooding occurred in Otane.

FloodingFlooding at Porangahau
Map Location: -40.297164 176.611003
Comments:

CommentThe Porangahau area was the worst hit by flooding on the 15th. It was the worst flooding to strike the town in decades.

Affected LifelineRoads were flooded.

ImpactThe cemetery, businesses and houses were flooded.

Evacuees22 people were evacuated on the 15th - five elderly from Kaumatua Flats near the marae, seven adults and five children from three houses in the village, and two adults and three children from a house near Porangahau Beach. 25 people self-evacuated in the village near Porangahau beach.

Stock DamageHundreds of ewes and lambs were killed.

Physical CharacteristicThe flood was 1 km wide across the flats.

Crop DamageBales of silage were floating down the river.

Affected LifelinePower and water were cut off.

ImpactThe flood left layers of silt and debris.

ImpactAt Porangahau Beach settlement, five houses were inundated, four with their bottom storey only inundated by surface flooding.

ImpactAt Porangahau Village, 13 houses were inundated, with water of depths varying from 100 mm-250 mm. Another 17 houses had water through other buildings on the property.

Peak Water LevelThe water inside homes in Porangahau Village had depths varying from 100-250 mm (10-25 cm).

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe township was isolated. A slip on Wimbledon Road cut off the village, which was isolated from the beachside settlement by flooding across the flats at the camping ground on Beach Road.

FloodingFlooding at Takapau
Map Location: -40.028683 176.33826
Comments:

Affected LifelineSurface flooding occurred in Takapau from overflowing drains and a flooded creek.

CommentKaikora stream was overflowing.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tekaihi
Map Location: -40.055975 176.782959
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTe Kaihi recorded 167 mm (16.7 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 20-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tukipo River
Map Location: -39.969563 176.341223
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Tukipo River at SH50 recorded 138.5 mm (13.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 30-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waipawa
Map Location: -39.940581 176.600338
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Tukituki River at Tapairu Rd recorded 139 mm (13.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 40-year return period.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentSurface flooding occurred in Waipawa.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waipukurau
Map Location: -39.999445 176.562423
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaipukurau recorded 115.2 mm (11.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 20-year return period.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentSurface flooding occurred in Waipukurau.

ImpactThe town of Waipurakau was affected as nearby rivers flooded.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wallingford
Map Location: -40.199941 176.592907
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Porangahau River at Wallingford recorded 197 mm (19.7 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 12pm on the 16th. This had a 125-year return period.

Taranaki

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Taranaki
Comments:

CommentTaranaki experienced gale force winds and heavy rain.

Affected LifelineParts of Taranaki were without power for several days. People east of Strathmore to Whangamomona were without power from the afternoon of the 14th. About 600 people were still affected by power cuts on the 16th, some of whom had been without power for over 48 hours.

ImpactSchools were closed due to power cuts.

ImpactFarmers were unable to milk due to the power cuts.

Crop DamageA lot of roofs were blown off barns and then hay was destroyed by getting wet.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the South Taranaki District at 11:00am on the 17th and lasted until the 27th.

Evacuees100 people were evacuated.

Affected LifelineThere was no reticulated water supply.

DamageThe storm which ripped through Taranaki caused well over $1 million in damage to the region.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentExtensive flooding occurred.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

DamageThe total area of landsliding in the South Taranaki district was 465 hectares.

DamageThe immediate effects of the slipping were blocking of access, destruction of fences, destruction of water supply systems and disruption of farm management activites.

DamageSevere gully erosion occurred.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Property DamageThe winds caused structural damage to buildings.

Property DamageA hay barn worth $20,000 ($20,300 2008 dollars) was destroyed. There could be up to 200 hay barns destroyed.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Hawera
Map Location: -39.586876 174.27571
Comments:

Property DamageHay barns were damaged in the Hawera/Opuanke area.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Plymouth
Map Location: -39.051214 174.06972
Comments:

Affected LifelinePart of the Huatoki Walkway between Leach Street and Hempton Street was closed on the 16th.

FloodingFlooding at Ngutuwera
Map Location: -39.771286 174.73572
Comments:

ImpactThree people were pulled from a house at Waipapa Marae as flood waters surged to sill height.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Normanby
Map Location: -39.535522 174.275897
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNormanby recorded 64.2 mm (6.4 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Opunake
Map Location: -39.456198 173.859526
Comments:

Property DamageHay barns were damaged in the Hawera/Opuanke area.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Patea
Map Location: -39.759215 174.475094
Comments:

ImpactThe Patea fire brigade was called out 17 times in 24 hours.

Affected LifelineRutland Street was closed.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentSevere winds were experienced.

ImpactSand was blowing from Patea beach into a carpark.

FloodingFlooding at Tahora
Map Location: -39.029979 174.80523
Comments:

ImpactTahora School closed due to no water being pumped.

FloodingFlooding at Waitotara
Map Location: -39.80567 174.72609
Comments:

CommentFloods ravaged the Waitotara Valley on the 16th.

Affected LifelineAccess to the settement of Waiinu Beach, the Waitotara meat works and the inland settlement of Nukumaru was cut by flood waters.

ImpactWater flowed through the centre of Waitotara township. Many homes were flooded.

ImpactPeople self-evacuated their Waitotara homes after efforts to pump stormwater drains were abandoned.

EvacueesThe township was evacuated by the Fire Service on the night of the 16th due to flooding and sewage contamination. Approximately 31 residents were put up in temporary accommodation.

Physical CharacteristicWater flowed 1 m deep through Waitotara school and the town hall.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the Patea Ward (Waiotara Township and Waitotara Valley) on the 17th due to severe flooding.

Commentit was the most devastating flood in the district's history.

DamageSevere damage was done.

CommentThe township was still under water and deserted on the 17th.

DamageFences pushed back and debris strewn about were evidence of the force and speed with which the water moved through streets.

Affected LifelineTwo people, a 79-year-old man and an 11-year-old boy, were isolated on a marae in Waitotara Valley for most of the 18th.

Affected LifelineThere were telecommunication outages in Waitotara Valley.

Affected LifelineThere were limited water supplies on the 20th.

Property DamageSome houses were condemned.

Affected LifelineFamilies further upstream were isolated for days.

ImpactThe meat works toward the coast were closed after the floods.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Whenuakura
Map Location: -39.736483 174.524774
Comments:

Stock DamageLivestock was killed when power lines were blown down at Whenuakura.

Manawatu-Wanganui

FloodingFlooding at Manawatu-Wanganui
Comments:

CommentSevere flooding occurred in the Rangitikei and Manawatu Districts when Makino Stream and the Rangitikei River breached their banks.

Affected LifelineCertain parts of the Rangitikei District were isolated.

Affected LifelineTelecommunication outages occurred. Pockets of phone customers in more isolated areas of the region outside Wanganui, Taihape and Waverley remained without service on the 19th. Mobile phone services were fully restored on the 20th.

CommentMany rivers breached heir banks.

CommentMany rivers experienced flows with a return period of over one-in-100 years.

CommentThe event in the Rangitikei District was a 100-year event.

CommentThe event in the Manawatu District was a 100-year event in certain places.

ImpactDefence resources were required in the Manawatu.

CommentThe Manawatu River peaked at its second highest flood on record, the largest being in 1902.

CommentThe Rangitikei River peaked at its third largest flood on record, after the floods of 1897 and 1926.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the Rangitikei District at 2:55am on the 16th and lasted until the 17th (ended as a regional Manawatu-Wanganui declaration was being made).

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the Manawatu District at 3:10am on the 16th and lasted until the 17th.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the Manawatu-Wanganui Region at 8:00pm on the 17th and lasted until 12am on the 25th. The declaration for the whole region ended the Rangitikei and Manawatu declarations. Conditions were similar in the Horowhenua District, and the Tararua, Ruapehu and Wanganui Districts were also affected.

EvacueesOver 1000 people were evacuated. 780 people were evacuated in the Manawatu and Rangitikei districts.

Evacuees530 people were evacuated in the Rangitikei District.

Evacuees350 people were evacuated in the Manawatu District.

EvacueesAs at 5pm on the 19th, 63 people had been evacuated in the Horowhenua District.

EvacueesAs at 5pm on the 19th, 46 people had been evacuated in the Ruapehu District.

DamageThe event was rated on a par with Cylcone Bola (1988) for its severity and destruction. It was the biggest flood damage in the Rangitikei District in 25 years.

Property DamageIn the whole region, 500 houses were damaged. 160 homes were confirmed as uninhabitable, with 30 rural properties confirmed uninhabitable. In the Rangitikei, 100 homes were declared uninhabitable.

ImpactHundreds of people were left homeless. 2500 people were displaced. On the 21st, 150 houses in the Rangitikei District remained uninhabitable, 140 houses in Manawatu, 20 houses in Horowhenua, and eight houses in the Wanganui District remained uninhabitable.

Affected LifelineFour bridges in the region were destroyed, and 21 were seriously damaged. One bridge's supporting cables collapsed. 16 bridges were damaged in the Manawatu area.

Stock DamageStock losses were estimated at 1300.

Crop DamageArable crops in the Manawatu were devastated.

ImpactConsiderable areas of farmland were inundated by silt and flood waters.

ImpactLarge quantities of sediment were deposited in the lower reaches of rivers, causing build up in the river beds.

ImpactThe flooding cost dairy farmers up to 20% of the year's income.

CommentCivil Defence gave Horizons District Council $100,000, Manawatu District Council $150,000, Rangitikei District Council $100,000, and Wanganui and Horowhenua District Councils $75,000.

Damage CostFarming damage costs to dairying totalled $41.4 million ($48,100,000 2008 dollars). This includes stock losses through drowning, interruptions to milking, crop loss, loss of pasture, damage to fences, plants and equipment, loss of grazing, loss of feed and production and loss of access.

Damage CostFarming damage costs to sheep, beef and deer totalled $66 million ($77,000,000 2008 dollars). This includes stock losses through drowning, crop loss, loss of pasture, damage to fences, plants and equipment, loss of grazing, loss of feed and production and loss of access.

Crop DamageFarming damage costs to crops totalled $24 million ($28,000,000 2008 dollars).

Damage CostFarming damage costs to forestry totalled $28-49 million ($32,000,000-$57,000,000 2008 dollars).

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere were widespread water, power and gas outages to tens of thousands of people throughout the region, especially in the Rangitikei and Manawatu Districts. In the region, 1800 houses lost power. Power was still out in some places on the 19th.

Affected LifelineThere were widespread road closures throughout the region. Roading infrastructure was hit hard, with state highways closed and 60-70 % of back country roads blocked, mostly by slips. For some time after the floods, some secondary routes remained closed or passable to four-wheel drive vehicles only. The state highway closed were: SH1 between Taihape and Waiouru, SH1 on the Desert Road, SH3 west of Bulls, SH3 through Manawatu Gorge, SH4 between Wanganui and Raetihi, and SH54 between Vinegar Hill and Fielding. SH3 through Manawatu Gorge and SH4 between Wanganui and Raetihi were still closed on the 21st.

Affected LifelineThere were widespread rail closures throughout the region. The North Island Main Trunk Line from Palmerston North to Taihape was closed.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

CommentAn already wet catchment produced widespread slope failure in the hill country. There was significant erosion of hill slopes and valleys as well as land sliding.

DamageModerate to severe slipping occurred across 120,000 ha of hill country, and an estimated 19,000 ha of land, or approximately 200,000,000 tonnes, slipped. The region lost 100 million cubic metres of soil (one-sixth the size of Mount Ngaurahoe) - either deposited on farmland or washed out to sea.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicHeavy rain exceeding 100 mm (10.0 cm) in 24 hours was recorded at 22 sites in the region.

Physical CharacteristicThree sites recorded more than 200 mm (20.0 cm) of rain on the 16th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Apiti
Map Location: -39.974036 175.875227
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTable Flat Road, Apiti, recorded 200 mm (20.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 130 years).

FloodingFlooding at Bulls
Map Location: -40.174758 175.372166
Comments:

Affected LifelineAt Bulls, the water supply was contaminated and out of action and sewerage treatment settling ponds were swept away.

ImpactSchools were closed in Bulls.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Cheltenham
Map Location: -40.138917 175.651504
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicCheltenham recorded 253 mm (25.3 cm) of rain in six days from the 15th to the 21st. This was four times its monthly rainfall.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Dannevirke
Map Location: -40.212104 176.095139
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicDannevirke (Pine Gr.) recorded 225 mm (22.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period over 150 years).

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Feilding
Map Location: -40.218333 175.546479
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicFeilding recorded 120 mm (12.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

CommentSeveral days of heavy rain began falling in Feilding on the 15th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineFeilding was isolated by flooding, with many bridges washed out.

ImpactThe town of Feilding was badly affected. The armed forces lent assistance, with homes and businesses flooded.

Property DamageSeveral homes were destroyed, one being washed away. Ten Feilding homes were declared unsafe.

Evacuees150 people were evacuated at Feilding. About 50 residents spent another night out on the 17th.

EvacueesAbout 170 pupils from Hato Paora College were evacuated to Massey University.

Affected LifelineFeilding's water supply was lost for a week after two supply pipelines were washed away. Southern Fielding had a limited water supply on the 19th.

ImpactSchools were closed.

ImpactUp to half of the Feilding district's population of 27,500 were seriously affected.

FloodingFlooding at Foxton
Map Location: -40.467435 175.29048
Comments:

ImpactThere was only minor flooding in the Foxton township, but the flood plain bordering the Manawatu River south of Foxton was under water after the Manawatu River breached its banks in several places on the 17th. Farmland was inundated.

Evacuees50 people were evacuated at about 4am on the 17th.

FloodingFlooding at Halcombe
Map Location: -40.142379 175.476109
Comments:

Affected LifelineWater supplies were limited in Stanway, Halcombe and Waituna West.

FloodingFlooding at Hunterville
Map Location: -39.936572 175.554055
Comments:

ImpactThe town of Hunterville was badly affected.

Evacuees150 people were evacuated at Hunterville.

ImpactSchools were closed in Hunterville.

FloodingFlooding at Kopua
Map Location: -40.084248 176.286426
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKopua recorded 176 mm (17.6 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 100 years).

FloodingFlooding at Levin
Map Location: -40.610591 175.272321
Comments:

Affected LifelineHorowhenua Hospital's generator failed.

FloodingFlooding at Longburn
Map Location: -40.381237 175.534372
Comments:

ImpactThe town of Longburn was badly affected.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Manawatu Gorge
Map Location: -40.31792 175.798027
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 3 through Manawatu Gorge was closed for two months.

FloodingFlooding at Mangamahu
Map Location: -39.820721 175.367985
Comments:

ImpactSeven families at Mangamahu had to be rescued by an Air Force helicopter.

FloodingFlooding at Marton
Map Location: -40.075433 175.360474
Comments:

ImpactSignificant flooding problems were experienced in Marton. The town was badly affected.

Evacuees180 people were evacuated in Marton when Tutaenui Stream burst its banks. The Air force lifted out several people.

ImpactSchools and kindergardens were closed in Marton.

Affected LifelineThe town was isolated by flood waters.

FloodingFlooding at Moutoa
Map Location: -40.507761 175.389825
Comments:

ImpactAt Moutoa, 5000 dairy cows were evacuated along with their owners.

FloodingFlooding at Opiki
Map Location: -40.444716 175.453033
Comments:

ImpactAbout 14,000 sandbags were laid along the river at Opiki.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Oringi
Map Location: -40.263229 176.019253
Comments:

Affected LifelineA milk train derailed at Oringi.

FloodingFlooding at Pahiatua
Map Location: -40.457232 175.849226
Comments:

ImpactAt Pahiatua, Fonterra carried out the emergency disposal of bulk quantities of milk, tipping 2000 tonnes, or 80 tanker loads, of milk into the flooded Mangatainoka River.

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

Physical CharacteristicPalmerston North recorded 62.6 mm (6.3 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

CommentPalmerston North received twice its monthly rainfall in the six days from the 15th to the 21st.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThere was flooding in Palmerston North on the 15th.

Affected LifelineHenderson's Line Bridge was unsafe and would be closed for two or three weeks.

FloodingFlooding at Rangiotu
Map Location: -40.421134 175.439206
Comments:

ImpactThe Rangiotu area was sandbagged with help from the Army on the night of the 18th to protect properties, as ponded water flowed out of paddocks.

FloodingFlooding at Stanway
Map Location: -40.101174 175.547353
Comments:

Affected LifelineWater supplies were limited in Stanway, Halcombe and Waituna West.

FloodingFlooding at Tangimoana
Map Location: -40.301588 175.248359
Comments:

ImpactThe town of Tangimoana and Scotts Ferry were badly affected.

Evacuees300 people were evacuated at Tangimoana and 250 at Scotts Ferry as the Rangitikei River flooded. About 90 residents were spend the second night out on the 17th.

CommentTangimoana experienced a 50- to 100-year flood.

Property Damage41 Tangimoana homes were declared uninhabitable.

Property DamageScotts Ferry suffered extensive damage, with all 50 homes in the settlement flooded.

FloodingFlooding at Turakina
Map Location: -40.044128 175.213422
Comments:

DamageSome farmers at Turakina lost everthing, including buildings, stock, crops, and fencing.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waiouru
Map Location: -39.466728 175.685937
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaiouru recorded 134 mm (13.4 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

FloodingFlooding at Waituna West
Map Location: -40.041691 175.627772
Comments:

Affected LifelineWater supplies were limited in Stanway, Halcombe and Waituna West.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wanganui
Map Location: -39.932232 175.028352
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWanganui recorded 158 mm (15.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicWanganui recorded 51 mm (5.1 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactThe city of Wanganui was affected as nearby rivers flooded.

CommentThe Whanganui River came close to the tops of its stopbanks, and the tributary Matarawa Stream flooded.

EvacueesSeven families in Wanganui East were evacuated on the night of the 16th due to the flooding.

ImpactSchools and kindergardens were closed in Wanganui.

FloodingFlooding at Whangaehu
Map Location: -40.009345 175.171274
Comments:

EvacueesResidents at Whangaehu village on State Highway 3 were evacuated.

FloodingFlooding at Whangaehu River
Map Location: -39.845139 175.319738
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe upper Whangaehu valley areas around Mangamahu were flooded. The road was cut, and families were isolated without power or communication. Supplies were airlifted through by helicopter.

ImpactFamilies were rescued from roof tops.

DamageLosses to farms were extensive, as stock and crops were washed away.

CommentThe Whangaehu River reached its highest flood levels on record, and was much bigger than the flood of 1897. The river was still at flood level on the 20th.

FloodingFlooding at Whirokino farm
Map Location: -40.521357 175.25159
Comments:

DamageWhirkino was devastated by a stopbank breach.

Stock DamageAbout 1000 head of stock were missing.

FloodingFlooding at Woodville
Map Location: -40.342202 175.873222
Comments:

ImpactThe town of Woodville was affected as nearby rivers flooded.

ImpactThere were some self-evacuations in Woodville.

Wellington

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Wellington
Comments:

InjuriesA girl was injured when a tree fell onto her bedroom.

Property DamageThe winds lifted roofing and blew down trees around the Wellington area on the 15th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWellington recorded 64 mm (6.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicThe Kapiti Coast recorded 65 mm (6.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineRoads were closed out of the city. Many commuters were unable to enter Wellington.

CommentWellington experienced its worst flooding since 1976.

CommentSeveral Wairarapa rivers flooded.

Stock DamageHundreds of sheep and lambs were washed away in the Wairarapa.

Crop DamageThe pea harvest in the Wairarapa was wiped out.

CommentThe Ruamahanga River had 50-year flows in the Wairarapa.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelinePower was cut due to falling trees. 2000 Wellington homes were without power. 600 Wairarapa homes were without power.

Affected LifelineTrain services were cut between Wellington and Johnsonville, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa and Paraparaumu. The Woodville to Masterton railway line was damaged.

Affected Lifeline31 roads in the Wairarapa were closed.

EvacueesFive Wairarapa houses were evacuated.

CauseA convergence zone spread into the Cook Strait area, between a cool, moist southerly flow and a milder north-east flow. The north-easterly overran the denser southerlies, leading to the rapid ascent of moist air. The slow-moving nature of the convergence zone led to some extremely heavy rainfalls.

Affected LifelineState Highway 1 and State Highway 2 were closed on the evening of the 19th, again isolating the cities of the Wellington region by road from the rest of the North Island. Both highways were open on the 20th to a limited degree.

FloodingFlooding at Carterton
Map Location: -41.024015 175.535635
Comments:

Affected LifelineAt Carterton, the Kaiwhatatangata River threatened State Highway 2 on the 19th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Castlepoint
Map Location: -40.89976 176.221927
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicCastlepoint recorded 123.4 mm (12.3 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Cook Strait
Map Location: -41.247772 174.473756
Comments:

Affected LifelineAbout 12 ferry crossings on The Interislander, Bluebridge and Lynx ferries were cancelled on the 15th due to heavy rain and gale force winds. Hundreds of passengers were affected.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicIn Cook Strait there were huge waves with swells of 5-10 m on the 15th.

DamageThe severe pitching and rolling of the Arahura ferry caused a truck to topple on to a van, and seriously damaged three cars.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThere were gusts of 160 km/hr.

CommentStorm force winds lasted for 29 hours in Cook Strait.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Eastbourne
Map Location: -41.292273 174.883144
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicEastbourne recorded 200 mm (20.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineEastbourne was cut off for most of the day on the 16th.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

CasualtiesA 35-year-old fisherman drowned at Eastbourne after he went fishing in the harbour on the night of the 14th.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

EvacueesParts of Eastbourne were evacuated due to slips.

Affected LifelineMarine Drive, between Lower Hutt and Eastbourne, was closed by a major slip on the 19th. One lane was opened on the 20th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Hutt River
Map Location: -41.162848 174.974804
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicHutt Valley recorded 150 mm (15.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 15th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

DamageIt was the biggest flood damage in the Hutt Valley in 25 years.

Affected LifelineThe railway service from Hutt Valley was closed.

LandslideLandslide at Karaka Bay
Map Location: -41.3039 174.832119
Comments:

Property DamageA slip ripped through a $650,000 house on Karaka Bay Road on the 17th, filling it with tonnes of rock. The rock slide and driving rain threatened to break up the two-storey home.

Affected LifelinePart of Karaka Bay Road near Seatoun was cordoned off due to the landslide.

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

Physical CharacteristicKelburn recorded 64.4 mm (6.4 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Lower Hutt
Map Location: -41.216677 174.934068
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicLower Hutt recorded 170 mm (17.0 cm) of rain.

Physical CharacteristicBirch Lane, Lower Hutt, recorded 234 mm (23.4 cm) of rain in 48 hours on the 15th and 16th (Return Period 50 years).

Physical CharacteristicBirch Lane, Lower Hutt, recorded 199.5 mm (20.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return period 50 years).

Physical CharacteristicBirch Lane, Lower Hutt, recorded 161.5 mm (16.2 cm) of rain in 12 hours (Return Period 50 years).

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentWaiwhetu Stream breached its banks.

Evacuees100 people were evacuated from 50 homes due to the flooding.

Evacuees500 people were evacauted from a Hutt Valley camping ground due to flood waters.

Impact80 people were displaced from Waiwhetu.

ImpactHospital surgeries had to be cancelled or postponed due to short staffing.

CommentWaiwhetu Stream had 50-year flows.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineResidents of Hutt Valley were asked not to travel into Wellington on the morning of the 16th.

Property DamageIn Hutt City, 20 properties were confirmed as uninhabitable.

CasualtiesAnother person was also persumed drowned as a result of the storm.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Property DamageSix homes in Stokes Valley were hit by slips.

FloodingFlooding at Martinborough
Map Location: -41.2171 175.436864
Comments:

ImpactThe town of Martinborough was affected as nearby rivers flooded.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Masterton
Map Location: -40.964296 175.667649
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMasterton recorded 75.4 mm (7.5 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentThe wind was more severe in Masterton than in South Wairarapa.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Mauriceville
Map Location: -40.777445 175.702851
Comments:

EvacueesThree houses were evacuated in Mauriceville.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Miramar
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMiramar recorded 30 mm (3.0 cm) of rain in one hour on the 17th (Return Period 35 years).

Physical CharacteristicMiramar recorded 14 mm (1.4 cm) of rain in 10 minutes on the 17th (Return Period 60 years).

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineSevere surface flooding occurred in Miramar on the 17th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Mt Kaukau
Map Location: -41.231345 174.77761
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedMt Kaukau recorded a peak wind speed of 178 km/hr on the 15th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Ngawi
Map Location: -41.58683 175.235276
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNgawi recorded 57.2 mm (5.7 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Orongorongo River
Map Location: -41.240206 175.058257
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Orongaronga Ranges recorded rainfall totals in excess of 250 mm (25.0 cm).

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Paekakariki
Map Location: -40.982766 174.944483
Comments:

Affected LifelinePaekakariki Hill Road was closed.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 1 north of Wellington was closed by flooding near McKays Crossing, Paekakariki, on the 19th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Paraparaumu
Map Location: -40.912244 174.986353
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicParaparaumu recorded 64.8 mm (6.5 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Rimutaka Hill
Map Location: -41.119029 175.230172
Comments:

Affected LifelineRimutaka Hill Road was closed due to high winds on the 15th.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 2 over the Rimutaka Hill was closed by some 14 slips on the 19th, some of them major. The slips trapped 30 vehicles, and the occupants had to be evacuated by the Police to Upper Hutt.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Seatoun
Map Location: -41.324634 174.830903
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedBeacon Hill recorded a peak wind speed of 167 km/hr on the 15th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tararua Range
Map Location: -40.705323 175.463173
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe tararua high country recorded rainfall totals in excess of 250 mm (25.0 cm).

Physical CharacteristicThe Tararuas recorded more than 1000 mm (100.0 cm) of rainfall in February.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Upper Hutt
Map Location: -41.139372 175.055716
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicSilverstream recorded 136 mm (13.6 cm) of rain.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Property DamageSurface flooding and landslides damaged one house.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wainuiomata
Map Location: -41.258208 174.954979
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWainuiomata recorded 110 mm (11.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicWainuiomata recorded 200 mm (20.0 cm) of rain.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineWainuiomata was cut off.

CommentThe Wainuiomata River was at record levels.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wellington International Airport
Map Location: -41.28855 174.776764
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWellington Airport recorded 56.8 mm (5.7 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedWellington Airport recorded a peak wind speed of 131 km/hr on the 15th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineWellington Airport was closed and flights were disrupted.

Marlborough

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at The Brothers
Map Location: -41.110896 174.43617
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedBrothers Island (Cook Strait) recorded a peak wind speed of 161 km/hr on the 15th.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Cape Jackson
Map Location: -40.994819 174.31359
Comments:

CasualtiesA 53-year-old man was missing and presumed drowned after the launch "Rita" sunk during foul weather near Cape Jackson on the 15th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Picton
Map Location: -41.295063 174.011495
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPicton recorded 40 mm (4.0 cm) of rain in 40 minutes.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe swollen Waitohi River broke its banks on the 17th.

Affected LifelineRoads and bridges were closed.

ImpactParts of Picton were flooded after heavy rain. There was heavy flooding in the Alexandra Holiday Park area.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the Picton Ward at 1:37pm on the 17th and lasted until the 18th, due to fears of a break in Burns Dam due to high inflow capacities and possible landslides into the reservoir.

Evacuees1000 people were evacuated from houses and businesses in the Picton area on the 17th. 800 people (one fifth of Picton's population) were evacuated from 200 homes because of fears that Barnes Dam in Essons Valley would burst. People were evacuated from Alexanders Holiday Park.

CommentAuthorities feared the Barnes Dam above the township could collapse, as the dam was full and overflowing.

DamageA couple of cars and campers were submerged in flood waters from the Waitohi River. Some cars were washed away.

Affected LifelineThe town experienced sewerage problems, with overflowing manholes sending sewage into the streets, into Picton Harbour and into Waitohi River.

ImpactHouses were flooded. Approximately 15 houses in Picton were still affeced by flood waters on the 20th, and residents were not allowed to return.

Property DamageTwelve Picton houses and a block of flats were contaminatecd by sewage and deemed unsafe to return to after the flash flood on the 17th.

CommentIt was one of the bigest floods ever experienced in the region. Residents had not seen the river burst its banks like that in 15 years.

CauseThe flooding was caused by an intense short period of rain in the Burns Range behind Picton, causing the Waitohi and Burns streams to rise rapidly.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waikawa
Map Location: -41.272265 174.043374
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaikawa recorded 160 mm (16.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 25 years).

Physical CharacteristicWaikawa recorded 85 mm (8.5 cm) of rain in one hour to 8:15am on the 17th (Return Period well over 150 years).

Physical CharacteristicWaikawa recorded 55 mm (5.5 cm) of rain in 30 minutes to 7:35am on the 17th (Return Period well over 150 years).

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactParts of Waikawa Bay were flooded after heavy rain. The river burst its banks.

EvacueesAt least 11 people in Waikawa were evacuated. Many businesses in Waikawa Bay were evacuated.

Affected LifelineFlood waters flowed down Beach Road.

West Coast

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at West Coast
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 6 between Hokitika and Haast Pass was beaten by high winds on the 15th.

Canterbury

LightningLightning at Ashburton
Map Location: -43.902384 171.736416
Comments:

InjuriesAn Ashburton farmer was struck on the head by a lightning bolt as he was taking cows to milking on the 16th. He was saved by the rubber tyres on his bike.

Stock DamageFour cows were killed by the lightning bolt.

LightningLightning at Christchurch
Map Location: -43.53112 172.636147
Comments:

CommentThousands of lightning bolts occurred in a spectacular storm over Christchurch on the 16th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

CommentChristchurch received more than half its average monthly rainfall in 24 hours on the 16th.

References

Civil Defence Declarations Since 1 January 1963, Declared Civil Defence Emergencies, 31 December 1999.
Headline: Damages will exceed $1m says assessor.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Power cuts close schools, stop milkings, anger farmers.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Raging rivers may force more to flee.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Weaving way round Waitotara rescues.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Winds put emergency crews under pressure.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Water going down but emergencies remain.
The Daily News, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Storm Havoc, Nightmare trip on Arahura.
The Dominion Post, February 16 2004.
Headline: The $50m deluge.
The Dominion Post, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Over the edge, the region at a glance.
The Dominion Post, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Raging rivers may force more to flee.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Over the edge, the region at a glance.
The Evening Post, 17 February 2004.
Fuller, I.C. (2005). February floods in the lower North Island, 2004: Catastrphe - causes and consequences. New Zealand Geographer, Volume 61, Issue 1, May 2005.
Hawkes Bay Regional Council: www.hbrc.govt.nz.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council. (2004). Flood Report, Central Hawke's Bay 15-16 February 2004.
Headline: Tornado strikes as storm rages.
Hawkes Bay Today, 16 February 2004.
Johnston, D.D.; Pearse, L.J. (2007). Hazards in Hawke's Bay. Hawke's Bay Regional Council, Napier, New Zealand.
Major weather events in New Zealand, Floods and High Rainfall, Floods to 31 May 2006.
Headline: No sign of missing man.
The Marlborough Express, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Storm panic in Picton.
The Marlborough Express, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Threat hovers over Picton.
The Marlborough Express, 18 February 2004.
Meteorological Society of New Zealand (Inc.). Newsletter 96, March 2004.
Headline: Storm causes chaos in Picton.
The Nelson Mail, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Picton emergency still in place.
The Nelson Mail, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Firefighters busy as westerly blast hits.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 14 February 2004.
Headline: More gales and rain for lower North Island.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 15 February 2004, 5:00pm.
Headline: More than 1400 forced to flee homes from floods.
The New Zealand Herald, 16 February 2004.
Headline: Three hundred more residents forced to flee flood.
The New Zealand Herald, 16 February 2004.
Headline: Winter makes early and violent visit.
The New Zealand Herald, 16 February 2004.
Headline: Cleanup starts, but rain still threatens some areas.
The New Zealand Herald, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Extreme storm leaves once-in-40yr trail of devastation.
The New Zealand Herald, 17 February 2004.
Headline: $100m bill for storm havoc.
The New Zealand Herald, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Farmers hit hard as dairy sector battles towards recovery.
The New Zealand Herald, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Government to help flood victims, Clark visits Manawatu and Rangitikei.
The New Zealand Herald, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Missing duo found in flooded valley.
The New Zealand Herald, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Concerns as chemicals remain under floodwaters.
The New Zealand Herald, 19 February 2004.
Headline: Floods reap terrible toll.
The New Zealand Herald, 19 February 2004.
Headline: Fine spell allows flood damage to be assesed in Manawatu.
The New Zealand Herald, 20 February 2004.
Headline: New storm lash sodden North Island flood zones.
The New Zealand Herald, 20 February 2004.
Headline: NZ storm: Civilian Defence update.
The New Zealand Herald, 20 February 2004.
Headline: Battening down for another battering.
The New Zealand Herald, 21 February 2004.
Headline: Flooding leaves more than 160 homes uninhabitable in Manawatu district.
The New Zealand Herald, 21 February 2004.
Headline: Storm stricken regions facing more wind and rain.
The New Zealand Herald, 21 February 2004.
Headline: No power for thousands of homes after overnight winds.
The New Zealand Herald, 22 February 2004.
Headline: Disaster 'biggest since Napier'.
The New Zealand Herald, 23 February 2004.
Headline: Floods' litany of destruction and expense.
The New Zealand Herald, 24 May 2005.
Headline: State of emergency continues in South Taranaki
The New Zealand Herald, 25 February 2004.
Headline: Promina beats its forecast by $100m.
The New Zealand Herald, 26 February 2004.
Headline: Weather lashes vegie buyers.
www.nzherald.co.nz, 26 February 2004.
New Zealand Meteorological Service. (2008). Meteorology of Extreme Rainfalls in New Zealand (Mark Pascoe, Ed.).
Headline: Extreme weather adds to insurance premiums.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Sunday Star Times, 9 March 2008.
Sustainable Land Use Initiative. (2005). The February 2004 storm. Sustainable Land Use Initiative Update 1(September ). Horizons Regional Council.
Taranaki Regional Council. (2004). Waitotara Valley: February 2004 storm event.
Trafford, L. Storm, civil emergency, storm and flood report: February 2004.
Headline: Emergency in Waitotara.
The Wanganui Chronicle, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Evacuated residents return home in city.
The Wanganui Chronicle, 18 February 2004.
Watts, L.; Gordon, M. (2004). The 15-16 February 2004 storm in the Wellington region.

ExtremeFebruary 2004 North Island Storm ( 2004-02-14 )

5-150 years

A storm brought high winds, heavy rain, flooding and slips to much fo the North Island as well as the upper South Island. The lower North Island was severely affected, with 100-year floods in Manawatu-Wanganui and 50-year floods in Wellington causing millions of dollars of damage. Thousands of people were evacuated. Two people drowned in the sea at Wellington and one person was presumed drowned in the Marlborough Sounds. Trees felled on houses caused injuries to a girl in Wellington and a woman in Auckland. A person was also injured after felled power lines started a house fire.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   6  days - From the 14th to the 19th of February.
Comments:

CauseThe synoptic situation was markedly similar to that of the 1897 event - a deep low moving slowly eastwards over the North Island. A strong south-east airstream affected the southern half of the North Island. Rainfalls on the lee side of the Ruahine Range were almost as high as those in the east - an intrusion from the north of dry air with high Isentropic Potential Vorticity added deep instability to the mix. It resulted from a polar outbreak more typical of winter - but temperatures were much higher, and precipitation amounts correspondingly were much greater. There was also the presence of a striated cloud head over the southern North Island as well as striated delta further east. Striations over the North Island were moving westwards, with both wavelength and amplitude increasing with time and distance downstream, suggesting that energy was being fed into the system.

CauseA 'cold-pool' low (a depression with a core of cold air) became stationary just to the east of Hawke's Bay, and intensified as warm moist air from the tropics collided with the colder air from Antarctica.

DamageIntense rainfall and gale force winds from the 15th to the 23rd affected the lower North Island and top of South Island with extensive and severe flooding and some wind damage.

CommentThis was considered the largest widespread natural disaster to strike New Zealand in 20 years.

North Island

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at North Island
Comments:

CommentWesterly gales blasted over the North Island on the 14th.

Affected LifelineHigh winds toppled trees, blocking roads and bringing down power lines.

Physical CharacteristicWind gusts of up to 120 km/hr were recorded around the North Island on the 15th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineIn the lower North Island, 6000 gas users were affected. The main gas pipeline from the Manawatu to Hawke's Bay was closed.

ImpactAreas badly affected: the towns of Scotts Ferry, Waitotara, Fielding, Tangimoana, Longburn, Marton and Hunterville.

ImpactAreas affected as nearby rivers flooded: the towns of Woodville, Waipurakau and Martinborough, and the city of Wanganui.

Property Damage1014 farms were flood-damaged.

Stock Damage5000 sheep, and 600-1000 dairy cattle were lost.

Area20,000 ha of farmland were under water.

EvacueesIn the lower North Island, 2300 people were evacuated.

ImpactA week after the flooding started, around 1000 people remained homeless. Three months later 400 homes were still uninhabitable, with 922 people still out of their homes.

CommentLocal authorities described the floods as the most devastating in over 100 years.

ImpactThere was a major shortage of vegetables in the lower North Island after the floods, and the price of most vegetables increased by over 200% on the 25th as result. Much of the produce destined for Wellington shelves was destroyed by the floods in the Manawatu.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

CommentThe North Island experienced a weekend of heavy rain, high winds, plummeting temperatures, thunderstorms and hail on the 14th and 15th.

ImpactFirefighters in the top half of the North Island responded to over 20 weather-related incidents on the 14th.

CommentThe brunt of the heavy rain and gale force winds was borne by the South Taranaki, Wanganui, Rangitikei and Manawatu districts.

Impact100 schools in Manawatu, Wairarapa and Wellington were closed.

Affected LifelineIn the lower North Island, up to 40,000 homes, businesses and schools were affected by power cuts. 550 homes were still without power on the 20th. A week after the flooding started, power and telephones were still out in some areas.

Affected LifelineRoad closures were widespread in the lower North Island. Dozens of roads were still inaccessible a week after the floods began.

Affected LifelineWidespread rail closures occurred. The Napier-Gisborne railway line was re-opened on the evening of the 20th. The Marton to New Plymouth railway line would take an estimated seven days to repair. The main trunk rail line between Auckland and Wellington was still closed on the 21st after it was washed out north of Taihape.

Affected LifelineIn the lower North Island, 5000 homes were without phone services.

Damage CostFonterra could not collect milk from the lower North Island for 48 hours. They had to dump more than 10 million litres of milk - a total cost to the company of $5 million ($5,800,000 2008 dollars).

CommentThe dairy industry had not been affected so badly by a single event since the Edgecumbe earthquake.

Total DamageThe short-term impact (cost of damage and economic impact) from the floods and wind damage in the lower North Island was estimated at $300 million ($348,000,000 2008 dollars).

Damage CostThe damage to roads was estimated at $65 million ($75,000,000 2008 dollars).

Property DamageThe damage to farms was estimated at $159-189 million ($185,000,000-$219,000,000 2008 dollars).

Insurance ClaimPrivate claims totalled $100 million ($116,000,000 2008 dollars).

Insurance ClaimIAG had received 3500 insurance claims by the 20th.

Insurance PaymentInsurance Payouts totalled $112.0 million ($130,000,000 2008 dollars).

Property DamageUninsured damage was estimated at $200 million ($230,000,000 2008 dollars).

Damage CostDamage to roads and bridges totalled $77.6 million ($90,100,000 2008 dollars). 9300 km of roads were closed, and more than 20 bridges were damaged.

Damage CostDamage to rivers totalled $24 million ($28,000,000 2008 dollars).

Damage CostSoil conservation work totalled $10 million ($12,000,000 2008 dollars).

CommentDonations included: $700,000 from viewers of TVNZ's Holmes show, $150,000 from Wrightson, $50,000 from ANZ, $25,000 from BNZ and $20,000 from Red Cross appeals.

CommentThis was the fourth most expensive natural disaster since 1968.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

CommentWidespread rainfall totalling 65-150 mm in 24 hours occurred in population centers throughout the south-western North Island, from Taranaki to Wellington, in southern Hawke's Bay and in Wairarapa.

Physical CharacteristicUp to 300 mm (30.0 cm) of rain fell in some places.

CommentThis was New Zealand's most widespread high rainfall event, in terms of the number and percentage of stations recording 100-year ARI totals, on record. Rainfalls exceeded a 150 year return period over a wide area.

Auckland

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Auckland
Comments:

DamageHigh winds in Auckland overnight on the 15th/16th knocked down trees and sent rubbish bins rolling into streets.

Affected LifelineHundreds of homes in West Auckland were without power.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Auckland International Airport
Map Location: -37.008447 174.782053
Comments:

Affected LifelineAuckland Airport was closed to domestic flights at around 9:30pm on the 15th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Konini
Map Location: -36.929564 174.642496
Comments:

Property DamageTrees brought down power lines and caused a switchboard fire in a house on the 14th.

InjuriesOne person in the house was treated for smoke inhalation.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Lincoln
Map Location: -36.861707 174.630219
Comments:

Affected LifelineA truck crashed into a tree that had blown across the North-western Motorway near Lincoln Road on the 15th. Traffic was diverted for about an hour from 9pm.

HailHail at Pukekohe
Map Location: -37.206561 174.898162
Comments:

Crop DamagePukekohe was hit by hail in February, which destroyed much of its vegetable crop yield.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Takapuna
Map Location: -36.787162 174.755633
Comments:

InjuriesA woman was trapped under a tree and seriously injured after the tree went through the roof of her Takapuna house on the 15th. She was taken to hospital with head injuries.

Waikato

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Waikato
Comments:

Affected LifelineSeveral trees were blown down on State Highway 3 between Te Kuiti and Awakino on the 15th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Te Kuiti
Map Location: -38.3277 175.172348
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 3 at Te Kuiti was closed on the 14th when a tree blocked the road.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Te Pahu
Map Location: -37.918743 175.136248
Comments:

Property DamageMost of the roof of a Te Pahu house was blown off on the 14th.

Bay of Plenty

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Ngongotaha
Map Location: -38.076794 176.217704
Comments:

Property DamageHigh winds toppled a tree in Ngongotaha shortly before daylight on the 14th, and knocked the corner off a house.

Affected LifelineThe toppled tree also brought down power lines.

TornadoTornado at Okere Falls
Map Location: -38.017446 176.33638
Comments:

CommentA small tornado ripped through Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park at about 5am on the 14th.

DamageTrees were uprooted and the camp ground was left covered in debris. A 24-metre gum tree was plucked from a neighbouring property and dumped on the camp grounds.

DurationThe tornado only lasted for a matter of seconds.

Affected LifelinePower, telephone and water supplies were all cut.

Gisborne

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at East Cape
Map Location: -37.690942 178.549901
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicEast Cape recorded 129 mm (12.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Hawke's Bay

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Hawke's Bay
Comments:

CommentA rainstorm hit Central Hawke's Bay on the 15th, with southerly winds and heavy rain.

Affected LifelineDisruption to the gas supply was a significant issue.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe Tukituki River reached a five-year level.

DamageLow-lying valleys suffered from debris deposits, fences and gates demolished, and tracks and roads closed or completely destroyed.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

CommentMany slips occurred.

TornadoTornado
Comments:

CommentA tornado ripped through paddocks on a central Hawke's Bay farm on the 15th.

Property DamageThe tornado cut a swathe about 500m long and 15-20 m wide through the farm. It lifted century-old gum trees into the air.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Ben Nevis Hill
Map Location: -40.142679 176.665632
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBen Nevis recorded 103 mm (10.3 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a five-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Conisbie Farm
Map Location: -39.934588 176.704232
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Tukituki River at Shag Rock recorded 228.5 mm (22.9 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 12pm on the 16th. This had a 150-year return period.

Physical CharacteristicShag Rock recorded 48 mm (4.8 cm) of rain in one hour on the 15th (Return Period 150 years).

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Maharakeke
Map Location: -40.021675 176.438733
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicStation Road recorded 144 mm (14.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 60-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Mangaorapa
Map Location: -40.337665 176.495391
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMangaorapa recorded 161.5 mm (16.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 50-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Moorcock Saddle
Map Location: -39.956983 176.147954
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMoorcock recorded 155 mm (15.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 10-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Ongaonga
Map Location: -39.915653 176.427543
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicOnga Onga recorded 144 mm (14.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 60-year return period.

FloodingFlooding at Otane
Map Location: -39.894901 176.634211
Comments:

CommentSurface flooding occurred in Otane.

FloodingFlooding at Porangahau
Map Location: -40.297164 176.611003
Comments:

CommentThe Porangahau area was the worst hit by flooding on the 15th. It was the worst flooding to strike the town in decades.

Affected LifelineRoads were flooded.

ImpactThe cemetery, businesses and houses were flooded.

Evacuees22 people were evacuated on the 15th - five elderly from Kaumatua Flats near the marae, seven adults and five children from three houses in the village, and two adults and three children from a house near Porangahau Beach. 25 people self-evacuated in the village near Porangahau beach.

Stock DamageHundreds of ewes and lambs were killed.

Physical CharacteristicThe flood was 1 km wide across the flats.

Crop DamageBales of silage were floating down the river.

Affected LifelinePower and water were cut off.

ImpactThe flood left layers of silt and debris.

ImpactAt Porangahau Beach settlement, five houses were inundated, four with their bottom storey only inundated by surface flooding.

ImpactAt Porangahau Village, 13 houses were inundated, with water of depths varying from 100 mm-250 mm. Another 17 houses had water through other buildings on the property.

Peak Water LevelThe water inside homes in Porangahau Village had depths varying from 100-250 mm (10-25 cm).

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe township was isolated. A slip on Wimbledon Road cut off the village, which was isolated from the beachside settlement by flooding across the flats at the camping ground on Beach Road.

FloodingFlooding at Takapau
Map Location: -40.028683 176.33826
Comments:

Affected LifelineSurface flooding occurred in Takapau from overflowing drains and a flooded creek.

CommentKaikora stream was overflowing.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tekaihi
Map Location: -40.055975 176.782959
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTe Kaihi recorded 167 mm (16.7 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 20-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tukipo River
Map Location: -39.969563 176.341223
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Tukipo River at SH50 recorded 138.5 mm (13.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 30-year return period.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waipawa
Map Location: -39.940581 176.600338
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Tukituki River at Tapairu Rd recorded 139 mm (13.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 40-year return period.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentSurface flooding occurred in Waipawa.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waipukurau
Map Location: -39.999445 176.562423
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaipukurau recorded 115.2 mm (11.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours. This had a 20-year return period.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentSurface flooding occurred in Waipukurau.

ImpactThe town of Waipurakau was affected as nearby rivers flooded.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wallingford
Map Location: -40.199941 176.592907
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Porangahau River at Wallingford recorded 197 mm (19.7 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 12pm on the 16th. This had a 125-year return period.

Taranaki

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Taranaki
Comments:

CommentTaranaki experienced gale force winds and heavy rain.

Affected LifelineParts of Taranaki were without power for several days. People east of Strathmore to Whangamomona were without power from the afternoon of the 14th. About 600 people were still affected by power cuts on the 16th, some of whom had been without power for over 48 hours.

ImpactSchools were closed due to power cuts.

ImpactFarmers were unable to milk due to the power cuts.

Crop DamageA lot of roofs were blown off barns and then hay was destroyed by getting wet.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the South Taranaki District at 11:00am on the 17th and lasted until the 27th.

Evacuees100 people were evacuated.

Affected LifelineThere was no reticulated water supply.

DamageThe storm which ripped through Taranaki caused well over $1 million in damage to the region.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentExtensive flooding occurred.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

DamageThe total area of landsliding in the South Taranaki district was 465 hectares.

DamageThe immediate effects of the slipping were blocking of access, destruction of fences, destruction of water supply systems and disruption of farm management activites.

DamageSevere gully erosion occurred.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Property DamageThe winds caused structural damage to buildings.

Property DamageA hay barn worth $20,000 ($20,300 2008 dollars) was destroyed. There could be up to 200 hay barns destroyed.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Hawera
Map Location: -39.586876 174.27571
Comments:

Property DamageHay barns were damaged in the Hawera/Opuanke area.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Plymouth
Map Location: -39.051214 174.06972
Comments:

Affected LifelinePart of the Huatoki Walkway between Leach Street and Hempton Street was closed on the 16th.

FloodingFlooding at Ngutuwera
Map Location: -39.771286 174.73572
Comments:

ImpactThree people were pulled from a house at Waipapa Marae as flood waters surged to sill height.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Normanby
Map Location: -39.535522 174.275897
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNormanby recorded 64.2 mm (6.4 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Opunake
Map Location: -39.456198 173.859526
Comments:

Property DamageHay barns were damaged in the Hawera/Opuanke area.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Patea
Map Location: -39.759215 174.475094
Comments:

ImpactThe Patea fire brigade was called out 17 times in 24 hours.

Affected LifelineRutland Street was closed.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentSevere winds were experienced.

ImpactSand was blowing from Patea beach into a carpark.

FloodingFlooding at Tahora
Map Location: -39.029979 174.80523
Comments:

ImpactTahora School closed due to no water being pumped.

FloodingFlooding at Waitotara
Map Location: -39.80567 174.72609
Comments:

CommentFloods ravaged the Waitotara Valley on the 16th.

Affected LifelineAccess to the settement of Waiinu Beach, the Waitotara meat works and the inland settlement of Nukumaru was cut by flood waters.

ImpactWater flowed through the centre of Waitotara township. Many homes were flooded.

ImpactPeople self-evacuated their Waitotara homes after efforts to pump stormwater drains were abandoned.

EvacueesThe township was evacuated by the Fire Service on the night of the 16th due to flooding and sewage contamination. Approximately 31 residents were put up in temporary accommodation.

Physical CharacteristicWater flowed 1 m deep through Waitotara school and the town hall.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the Patea Ward (Waiotara Township and Waitotara Valley) on the 17th due to severe flooding.

Commentit was the most devastating flood in the district's history.

DamageSevere damage was done.

CommentThe township was still under water and deserted on the 17th.

DamageFences pushed back and debris strewn about were evidence of the force and speed with which the water moved through streets.

Affected LifelineTwo people, a 79-year-old man and an 11-year-old boy, were isolated on a marae in Waitotara Valley for most of the 18th.

Affected LifelineThere were telecommunication outages in Waitotara Valley.

Affected LifelineThere were limited water supplies on the 20th.

Property DamageSome houses were condemned.

Affected LifelineFamilies further upstream were isolated for days.

ImpactThe meat works toward the coast were closed after the floods.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Whenuakura
Map Location: -39.736483 174.524774
Comments:

Stock DamageLivestock was killed when power lines were blown down at Whenuakura.

Manawatu-Wanganui

FloodingFlooding at Manawatu-Wanganui
Comments:

CommentSevere flooding occurred in the Rangitikei and Manawatu Districts when Makino Stream and the Rangitikei River breached their banks.

Affected LifelineCertain parts of the Rangitikei District were isolated.

Affected LifelineTelecommunication outages occurred. Pockets of phone customers in more isolated areas of the region outside Wanganui, Taihape and Waverley remained without service on the 19th. Mobile phone services were fully restored on the 20th.

CommentMany rivers breached heir banks.

CommentMany rivers experienced flows with a return period of over one-in-100 years.

CommentThe event in the Rangitikei District was a 100-year event.

CommentThe event in the Manawatu District was a 100-year event in certain places.

ImpactDefence resources were required in the Manawatu.

CommentThe Manawatu River peaked at its second highest flood on record, the largest being in 1902.

CommentThe Rangitikei River peaked at its third largest flood on record, after the floods of 1897 and 1926.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the Rangitikei District at 2:55am on the 16th and lasted until the 17th (ended as a regional Manawatu-Wanganui declaration was being made).

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the Manawatu District at 3:10am on the 16th and lasted until the 17th.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the Manawatu-Wanganui Region at 8:00pm on the 17th and lasted until 12am on the 25th. The declaration for the whole region ended the Rangitikei and Manawatu declarations. Conditions were similar in the Horowhenua District, and the Tararua, Ruapehu and Wanganui Districts were also affected.

EvacueesOver 1000 people were evacuated. 780 people were evacuated in the Manawatu and Rangitikei districts.

Evacuees530 people were evacuated in the Rangitikei District.

Evacuees350 people were evacuated in the Manawatu District.

EvacueesAs at 5pm on the 19th, 63 people had been evacuated in the Horowhenua District.

EvacueesAs at 5pm on the 19th, 46 people had been evacuated in the Ruapehu District.

DamageThe event was rated on a par with Cylcone Bola (1988) for its severity and destruction. It was the biggest flood damage in the Rangitikei District in 25 years.

Property DamageIn the whole region, 500 houses were damaged. 160 homes were confirmed as uninhabitable, with 30 rural properties confirmed uninhabitable. In the Rangitikei, 100 homes were declared uninhabitable.

ImpactHundreds of people were left homeless. 2500 people were displaced. On the 21st, 150 houses in the Rangitikei District remained uninhabitable, 140 houses in Manawatu, 20 houses in Horowhenua, and eight houses in the Wanganui District remained uninhabitable.

Affected LifelineFour bridges in the region were destroyed, and 21 were seriously damaged. One bridge's supporting cables collapsed. 16 bridges were damaged in the Manawatu area.

Stock DamageStock losses were estimated at 1300.

Crop DamageArable crops in the Manawatu were devastated.

ImpactConsiderable areas of farmland were inundated by silt and flood waters.

ImpactLarge quantities of sediment were deposited in the lower reaches of rivers, causing build up in the river beds.

ImpactThe flooding cost dairy farmers up to 20% of the year's income.

CommentCivil Defence gave Horizons District Council $100,000, Manawatu District Council $150,000, Rangitikei District Council $100,000, and Wanganui and Horowhenua District Councils $75,000.

Damage CostFarming damage costs to dairying totalled $41.4 million ($48,100,000 2008 dollars). This includes stock losses through drowning, interruptions to milking, crop loss, loss of pasture, damage to fences, plants and equipment, loss of grazing, loss of feed and production and loss of access.

Damage CostFarming damage costs to sheep, beef and deer totalled $66 million ($77,000,000 2008 dollars). This includes stock losses through drowning, crop loss, loss of pasture, damage to fences, plants and equipment, loss of grazing, loss of feed and production and loss of access.

Crop DamageFarming damage costs to crops totalled $24 million ($28,000,000 2008 dollars).

Damage CostFarming damage costs to forestry totalled $28-49 million ($32,000,000-$57,000,000 2008 dollars).

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere were widespread water, power and gas outages to tens of thousands of people throughout the region, especially in the Rangitikei and Manawatu Districts. In the region, 1800 houses lost power. Power was still out in some places on the 19th.

Affected LifelineThere were widespread road closures throughout the region. Roading infrastructure was hit hard, with state highways closed and 60-70 % of back country roads blocked, mostly by slips. For some time after the floods, some secondary routes remained closed or passable to four-wheel drive vehicles only. The state highway closed were: SH1 between Taihape and Waiouru, SH1 on the Desert Road, SH3 west of Bulls, SH3 through Manawatu Gorge, SH4 between Wanganui and Raetihi, and SH54 between Vinegar Hill and Fielding. SH3 through Manawatu Gorge and SH4 between Wanganui and Raetihi were still closed on the 21st.

Affected LifelineThere were widespread rail closures throughout the region. The North Island Main Trunk Line from Palmerston North to Taihape was closed.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

CommentAn already wet catchment produced widespread slope failure in the hill country. There was significant erosion of hill slopes and valleys as well as land sliding.

DamageModerate to severe slipping occurred across 120,000 ha of hill country, and an estimated 19,000 ha of land, or approximately 200,000,000 tonnes, slipped. The region lost 100 million cubic metres of soil (one-sixth the size of Mount Ngaurahoe) - either deposited on farmland or washed out to sea.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicHeavy rain exceeding 100 mm (10.0 cm) in 24 hours was recorded at 22 sites in the region.

Physical CharacteristicThree sites recorded more than 200 mm (20.0 cm) of rain on the 16th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Apiti
Map Location: -39.974036 175.875227
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTable Flat Road, Apiti, recorded 200 mm (20.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 130 years).

FloodingFlooding at Bulls
Map Location: -40.174758 175.372166
Comments:

Affected LifelineAt Bulls, the water supply was contaminated and out of action and sewerage treatment settling ponds were swept away.

ImpactSchools were closed in Bulls.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Cheltenham
Map Location: -40.138917 175.651504
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicCheltenham recorded 253 mm (25.3 cm) of rain in six days from the 15th to the 21st. This was four times its monthly rainfall.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Dannevirke
Map Location: -40.212104 176.095139
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicDannevirke (Pine Gr.) recorded 225 mm (22.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period over 150 years).

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Feilding
Map Location: -40.218333 175.546479
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicFeilding recorded 120 mm (12.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

CommentSeveral days of heavy rain began falling in Feilding on the 15th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineFeilding was isolated by flooding, with many bridges washed out.

ImpactThe town of Feilding was badly affected. The armed forces lent assistance, with homes and businesses flooded.

Property DamageSeveral homes were destroyed, one being washed away. Ten Feilding homes were declared unsafe.

Evacuees150 people were evacuated at Feilding. About 50 residents spent another night out on the 17th.

EvacueesAbout 170 pupils from Hato Paora College were evacuated to Massey University.

Affected LifelineFeilding's water supply was lost for a week after two supply pipelines were washed away. Southern Fielding had a limited water supply on the 19th.

ImpactSchools were closed.

ImpactUp to half of the Feilding district's population of 27,500 were seriously affected.

FloodingFlooding at Foxton
Map Location: -40.467435 175.29048
Comments:

ImpactThere was only minor flooding in the Foxton township, but the flood plain bordering the Manawatu River south of Foxton was under water after the Manawatu River breached its banks in several places on the 17th. Farmland was inundated.

Evacuees50 people were evacuated at about 4am on the 17th.

FloodingFlooding at Halcombe
Map Location: -40.142379 175.476109
Comments:

Affected LifelineWater supplies were limited in Stanway, Halcombe and Waituna West.

FloodingFlooding at Hunterville
Map Location: -39.936572 175.554055
Comments:

ImpactThe town of Hunterville was badly affected.

Evacuees150 people were evacuated at Hunterville.

ImpactSchools were closed in Hunterville.

FloodingFlooding at Kopua
Map Location: -40.084248 176.286426
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKopua recorded 176 mm (17.6 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 100 years).

FloodingFlooding at Levin
Map Location: -40.610591 175.272321
Comments:

Affected LifelineHorowhenua Hospital's generator failed.

FloodingFlooding at Longburn
Map Location: -40.381237 175.534372
Comments:

ImpactThe town of Longburn was badly affected.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Manawatu Gorge
Map Location: -40.31792 175.798027
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 3 through Manawatu Gorge was closed for two months.

FloodingFlooding at Mangamahu
Map Location: -39.820721 175.367985
Comments:

ImpactSeven families at Mangamahu had to be rescued by an Air Force helicopter.

FloodingFlooding at Marton
Map Location: -40.075433 175.360474
Comments:

ImpactSignificant flooding problems were experienced in Marton. The town was badly affected.

Evacuees180 people were evacuated in Marton when Tutaenui Stream burst its banks. The Air force lifted out several people.

ImpactSchools and kindergardens were closed in Marton.

Affected LifelineThe town was isolated by flood waters.

FloodingFlooding at Moutoa
Map Location: -40.507761 175.389825
Comments:

ImpactAt Moutoa, 5000 dairy cows were evacuated along with their owners.

FloodingFlooding at Opiki
Map Location: -40.444716 175.453033
Comments:

ImpactAbout 14,000 sandbags were laid along the river at Opiki.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Oringi
Map Location: -40.263229 176.019253
Comments:

Affected LifelineA milk train derailed at Oringi.

FloodingFlooding at Pahiatua
Map Location: -40.457232 175.849226
Comments:

ImpactAt Pahiatua, Fonterra carried out the emergency disposal of bulk quantities of milk, tipping 2000 tonnes, or 80 tanker loads, of milk into the flooded Mangatainoka River.

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

Physical CharacteristicPalmerston North recorded 62.6 mm (6.3 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

CommentPalmerston North received twice its monthly rainfall in the six days from the 15th to the 21st.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThere was flooding in Palmerston North on the 15th.

Affected LifelineHenderson's Line Bridge was unsafe and would be closed for two or three weeks.

FloodingFlooding at Rangiotu
Map Location: -40.421134 175.439206
Comments:

ImpactThe Rangiotu area was sandbagged with help from the Army on the night of the 18th to protect properties, as ponded water flowed out of paddocks.

FloodingFlooding at Stanway
Map Location: -40.101174 175.547353
Comments:

Affected LifelineWater supplies were limited in Stanway, Halcombe and Waituna West.

FloodingFlooding at Tangimoana
Map Location: -40.301588 175.248359
Comments:

ImpactThe town of Tangimoana and Scotts Ferry were badly affected.

Evacuees300 people were evacuated at Tangimoana and 250 at Scotts Ferry as the Rangitikei River flooded. About 90 residents were spend the second night out on the 17th.

CommentTangimoana experienced a 50- to 100-year flood.

Property Damage41 Tangimoana homes were declared uninhabitable.

Property DamageScotts Ferry suffered extensive damage, with all 50 homes in the settlement flooded.

FloodingFlooding at Turakina
Map Location: -40.044128 175.213422
Comments:

DamageSome farmers at Turakina lost everthing, including buildings, stock, crops, and fencing.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waiouru
Map Location: -39.466728 175.685937
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaiouru recorded 134 mm (13.4 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

FloodingFlooding at Waituna West
Map Location: -40.041691 175.627772
Comments:

Affected LifelineWater supplies were limited in Stanway, Halcombe and Waituna West.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wanganui
Map Location: -39.932232 175.028352
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWanganui recorded 158 mm (15.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicWanganui recorded 51 mm (5.1 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactThe city of Wanganui was affected as nearby rivers flooded.

CommentThe Whanganui River came close to the tops of its stopbanks, and the tributary Matarawa Stream flooded.

EvacueesSeven families in Wanganui East were evacuated on the night of the 16th due to the flooding.

ImpactSchools and kindergardens were closed in Wanganui.

FloodingFlooding at Whangaehu
Map Location: -40.009345 175.171274
Comments:

EvacueesResidents at Whangaehu village on State Highway 3 were evacuated.

FloodingFlooding at Whangaehu River
Map Location: -39.845139 175.319738
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe upper Whangaehu valley areas around Mangamahu were flooded. The road was cut, and families were isolated without power or communication. Supplies were airlifted through by helicopter.

ImpactFamilies were rescued from roof tops.

DamageLosses to farms were extensive, as stock and crops were washed away.

CommentThe Whangaehu River reached its highest flood levels on record, and was much bigger than the flood of 1897. The river was still at flood level on the 20th.

FloodingFlooding at Whirokino farm
Map Location: -40.521357 175.25159
Comments:

DamageWhirkino was devastated by a stopbank breach.

Stock DamageAbout 1000 head of stock were missing.

FloodingFlooding at Woodville
Map Location: -40.342202 175.873222
Comments:

ImpactThe town of Woodville was affected as nearby rivers flooded.

ImpactThere were some self-evacuations in Woodville.

Wellington

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Wellington
Comments:

InjuriesA girl was injured when a tree fell onto her bedroom.

Property DamageThe winds lifted roofing and blew down trees around the Wellington area on the 15th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWellington recorded 64 mm (6.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicThe Kapiti Coast recorded 65 mm (6.5 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineRoads were closed out of the city. Many commuters were unable to enter Wellington.

CommentWellington experienced its worst flooding since 1976.

CommentSeveral Wairarapa rivers flooded.

Stock DamageHundreds of sheep and lambs were washed away in the Wairarapa.

Crop DamageThe pea harvest in the Wairarapa was wiped out.

CommentThe Ruamahanga River had 50-year flows in the Wairarapa.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelinePower was cut due to falling trees. 2000 Wellington homes were without power. 600 Wairarapa homes were without power.

Affected LifelineTrain services were cut between Wellington and Johnsonville, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa and Paraparaumu. The Woodville to Masterton railway line was damaged.

Affected Lifeline31 roads in the Wairarapa were closed.

EvacueesFive Wairarapa houses were evacuated.

CauseA convergence zone spread into the Cook Strait area, between a cool, moist southerly flow and a milder north-east flow. The north-easterly overran the denser southerlies, leading to the rapid ascent of moist air. The slow-moving nature of the convergence zone led to some extremely heavy rainfalls.

Affected LifelineState Highway 1 and State Highway 2 were closed on the evening of the 19th, again isolating the cities of the Wellington region by road from the rest of the North Island. Both highways were open on the 20th to a limited degree.

FloodingFlooding at Carterton
Map Location: -41.024015 175.535635
Comments:

Affected LifelineAt Carterton, the Kaiwhatatangata River threatened State Highway 2 on the 19th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Castlepoint
Map Location: -40.89976 176.221927
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicCastlepoint recorded 123.4 mm (12.3 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Cook Strait
Map Location: -41.247772 174.473756
Comments:

Affected LifelineAbout 12 ferry crossings on The Interislander, Bluebridge and Lynx ferries were cancelled on the 15th due to heavy rain and gale force winds. Hundreds of passengers were affected.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicIn Cook Strait there were huge waves with swells of 5-10 m on the 15th.

DamageThe severe pitching and rolling of the Arahura ferry caused a truck to topple on to a van, and seriously damaged three cars.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThere were gusts of 160 km/hr.

CommentStorm force winds lasted for 29 hours in Cook Strait.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Eastbourne
Map Location: -41.292273 174.883144
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicEastbourne recorded 200 mm (20.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineEastbourne was cut off for most of the day on the 16th.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

CasualtiesA 35-year-old fisherman drowned at Eastbourne after he went fishing in the harbour on the night of the 14th.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

EvacueesParts of Eastbourne were evacuated due to slips.

Affected LifelineMarine Drive, between Lower Hutt and Eastbourne, was closed by a major slip on the 19th. One lane was opened on the 20th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Hutt River
Map Location: -41.162848 174.974804
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicHutt Valley recorded 150 mm (15.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 15th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

DamageIt was the biggest flood damage in the Hutt Valley in 25 years.

Affected LifelineThe railway service from Hutt Valley was closed.

LandslideLandslide at Karaka Bay
Map Location: -41.3039 174.832119
Comments:

Property DamageA slip ripped through a $650,000 house on Karaka Bay Road on the 17th, filling it with tonnes of rock. The rock slide and driving rain threatened to break up the two-storey home.

Affected LifelinePart of Karaka Bay Road near Seatoun was cordoned off due to the landslide.

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

Physical CharacteristicKelburn recorded 64.4 mm (6.4 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Lower Hutt
Map Location: -41.216677 174.934068
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicLower Hutt recorded 170 mm (17.0 cm) of rain.

Physical CharacteristicBirch Lane, Lower Hutt, recorded 234 mm (23.4 cm) of rain in 48 hours on the 15th and 16th (Return Period 50 years).

Physical CharacteristicBirch Lane, Lower Hutt, recorded 199.5 mm (20.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return period 50 years).

Physical CharacteristicBirch Lane, Lower Hutt, recorded 161.5 mm (16.2 cm) of rain in 12 hours (Return Period 50 years).

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentWaiwhetu Stream breached its banks.

Evacuees100 people were evacuated from 50 homes due to the flooding.

Evacuees500 people were evacauted from a Hutt Valley camping ground due to flood waters.

Impact80 people were displaced from Waiwhetu.

ImpactHospital surgeries had to be cancelled or postponed due to short staffing.

CommentWaiwhetu Stream had 50-year flows.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineResidents of Hutt Valley were asked not to travel into Wellington on the morning of the 16th.

Property DamageIn Hutt City, 20 properties were confirmed as uninhabitable.

CasualtiesAnother person was also persumed drowned as a result of the storm.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Property DamageSix homes in Stokes Valley were hit by slips.

FloodingFlooding at Martinborough
Map Location: -41.2171 175.436864
Comments:

ImpactThe town of Martinborough was affected as nearby rivers flooded.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Masterton
Map Location: -40.964296 175.667649
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMasterton recorded 75.4 mm (7.5 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentThe wind was more severe in Masterton than in South Wairarapa.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Mauriceville
Map Location: -40.777445 175.702851
Comments:

EvacueesThree houses were evacuated in Mauriceville.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Miramar
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMiramar recorded 30 mm (3.0 cm) of rain in one hour on the 17th (Return Period 35 years).

Physical CharacteristicMiramar recorded 14 mm (1.4 cm) of rain in 10 minutes on the 17th (Return Period 60 years).

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineSevere surface flooding occurred in Miramar on the 17th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Mt Kaukau
Map Location: -41.231345 174.77761
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedMt Kaukau recorded a peak wind speed of 178 km/hr on the 15th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Ngawi
Map Location: -41.58683 175.235276
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNgawi recorded 57.2 mm (5.7 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Orongorongo River
Map Location: -41.240206 175.058257
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Orongaronga Ranges recorded rainfall totals in excess of 250 mm (25.0 cm).

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Paekakariki
Map Location: -40.982766 174.944483
Comments:

Affected LifelinePaekakariki Hill Road was closed.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 1 north of Wellington was closed by flooding near McKays Crossing, Paekakariki, on the 19th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Paraparaumu
Map Location: -40.912244 174.986353
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicParaparaumu recorded 64.8 mm (6.5 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Rimutaka Hill
Map Location: -41.119029 175.230172
Comments:

Affected LifelineRimutaka Hill Road was closed due to high winds on the 15th.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 2 over the Rimutaka Hill was closed by some 14 slips on the 19th, some of them major. The slips trapped 30 vehicles, and the occupants had to be evacuated by the Police to Upper Hutt.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Seatoun
Map Location: -41.324634 174.830903
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedBeacon Hill recorded a peak wind speed of 167 km/hr on the 15th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tararua Range
Map Location: -40.705323 175.463173
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe tararua high country recorded rainfall totals in excess of 250 mm (25.0 cm).

Physical CharacteristicThe Tararuas recorded more than 1000 mm (100.0 cm) of rainfall in February.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Upper Hutt
Map Location: -41.139372 175.055716
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicSilverstream recorded 136 mm (13.6 cm) of rain.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Property DamageSurface flooding and landslides damaged one house.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wainuiomata
Map Location: -41.258208 174.954979
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWainuiomata recorded 110 mm (11.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicWainuiomata recorded 200 mm (20.0 cm) of rain.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineWainuiomata was cut off.

CommentThe Wainuiomata River was at record levels.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wellington International Airport
Map Location: -41.28855 174.776764
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWellington Airport recorded 56.8 mm (5.7 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 16th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedWellington Airport recorded a peak wind speed of 131 km/hr on the 15th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineWellington Airport was closed and flights were disrupted.

Marlborough

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at The Brothers
Map Location: -41.110896 174.43617
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedBrothers Island (Cook Strait) recorded a peak wind speed of 161 km/hr on the 15th.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Cape Jackson
Map Location: -40.994819 174.31359
Comments:

CasualtiesA 53-year-old man was missing and presumed drowned after the launch "Rita" sunk during foul weather near Cape Jackson on the 15th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Picton
Map Location: -41.295063 174.011495
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPicton recorded 40 mm (4.0 cm) of rain in 40 minutes.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe swollen Waitohi River broke its banks on the 17th.

Affected LifelineRoads and bridges were closed.

ImpactParts of Picton were flooded after heavy rain. There was heavy flooding in the Alexandra Holiday Park area.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared for the Picton Ward at 1:37pm on the 17th and lasted until the 18th, due to fears of a break in Burns Dam due to high inflow capacities and possible landslides into the reservoir.

Evacuees1000 people were evacuated from houses and businesses in the Picton area on the 17th. 800 people (one fifth of Picton's population) were evacuated from 200 homes because of fears that Barnes Dam in Essons Valley would burst. People were evacuated from Alexanders Holiday Park.

CommentAuthorities feared the Barnes Dam above the township could collapse, as the dam was full and overflowing.

DamageA couple of cars and campers were submerged in flood waters from the Waitohi River. Some cars were washed away.

Affected LifelineThe town experienced sewerage problems, with overflowing manholes sending sewage into the streets, into Picton Harbour and into Waitohi River.

ImpactHouses were flooded. Approximately 15 houses in Picton were still affeced by flood waters on the 20th, and residents were not allowed to return.

Property DamageTwelve Picton houses and a block of flats were contaminatecd by sewage and deemed unsafe to return to after the flash flood on the 17th.

CommentIt was one of the bigest floods ever experienced in the region. Residents had not seen the river burst its banks like that in 15 years.

CauseThe flooding was caused by an intense short period of rain in the Burns Range behind Picton, causing the Waitohi and Burns streams to rise rapidly.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waikawa
Map Location: -41.272265 174.043374
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaikawa recorded 160 mm (16.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours (Return Period 25 years).

Physical CharacteristicWaikawa recorded 85 mm (8.5 cm) of rain in one hour to 8:15am on the 17th (Return Period well over 150 years).

Physical CharacteristicWaikawa recorded 55 mm (5.5 cm) of rain in 30 minutes to 7:35am on the 17th (Return Period well over 150 years).

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactParts of Waikawa Bay were flooded after heavy rain. The river burst its banks.

EvacueesAt least 11 people in Waikawa were evacuated. Many businesses in Waikawa Bay were evacuated.

Affected LifelineFlood waters flowed down Beach Road.

West Coast

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at West Coast
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 6 between Hokitika and Haast Pass was beaten by high winds on the 15th.

Canterbury

LightningLightning at Ashburton
Map Location: -43.902384 171.736416
Comments:

InjuriesAn Ashburton farmer was struck on the head by a lightning bolt as he was taking cows to milking on the 16th. He was saved by the rubber tyres on his bike.

Stock DamageFour cows were killed by the lightning bolt.

LightningLightning at Christchurch
Map Location: -43.53112 172.636147
Comments:

CommentThousands of lightning bolts occurred in a spectacular storm over Christchurch on the 16th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

CommentChristchurch received more than half its average monthly rainfall in 24 hours on the 16th.

References

Civil Defence Declarations Since 1 January 1963, Declared Civil Defence Emergencies, 31 December 1999.
Headline: Damages will exceed $1m says assessor.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Power cuts close schools, stop milkings, anger farmers.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Raging rivers may force more to flee.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Weaving way round Waitotara rescues.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Winds put emergency crews under pressure.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Water going down but emergencies remain.
The Daily News, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Storm Havoc, Nightmare trip on Arahura.
The Dominion Post, February 16 2004.
Headline: The $50m deluge.
The Dominion Post, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Over the edge, the region at a glance.
The Dominion Post, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Raging rivers may force more to flee.
The Daily News, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Over the edge, the region at a glance.
The Evening Post, 17 February 2004.
Fuller, I.C. (2005). February floods in the lower North Island, 2004: Catastrphe - causes and consequences. New Zealand Geographer, Volume 61, Issue 1, May 2005.
Hawkes Bay Regional Council: www.hbrc.govt.nz.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council. (2004). Flood Report, Central Hawke's Bay 15-16 February 2004.
Headline: Tornado strikes as storm rages.
Hawkes Bay Today, 16 February 2004.
Johnston, D.D.; Pearse, L.J. (2007). Hazards in Hawke's Bay. Hawke's Bay Regional Council, Napier, New Zealand.
Major weather events in New Zealand, Floods and High Rainfall, Floods to 31 May 2006.
Headline: No sign of missing man.
The Marlborough Express, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Storm panic in Picton.
The Marlborough Express, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Threat hovers over Picton.
The Marlborough Express, 18 February 2004.
Meteorological Society of New Zealand (Inc.). Newsletter 96, March 2004.
Headline: Storm causes chaos in Picton.
The Nelson Mail, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Picton emergency still in place.
The Nelson Mail, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Firefighters busy as westerly blast hits.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 14 February 2004.
Headline: More gales and rain for lower North Island.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 15 February 2004, 5:00pm.
Headline: More than 1400 forced to flee homes from floods.
The New Zealand Herald, 16 February 2004.
Headline: Three hundred more residents forced to flee flood.
The New Zealand Herald, 16 February 2004.
Headline: Winter makes early and violent visit.
The New Zealand Herald, 16 February 2004.
Headline: Cleanup starts, but rain still threatens some areas.
The New Zealand Herald, 17 February 2004.
Headline: Extreme storm leaves once-in-40yr trail of devastation.
The New Zealand Herald, 17 February 2004.
Headline: $100m bill for storm havoc.
The New Zealand Herald, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Farmers hit hard as dairy sector battles towards recovery.
The New Zealand Herald, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Government to help flood victims, Clark visits Manawatu and Rangitikei.
The New Zealand Herald, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Missing duo found in flooded valley.
The New Zealand Herald, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Concerns as chemicals remain under floodwaters.
The New Zealand Herald, 19 February 2004.
Headline: Floods reap terrible toll.
The New Zealand Herald, 19 February 2004.
Headline: Fine spell allows flood damage to be assesed in Manawatu.
The New Zealand Herald, 20 February 2004.
Headline: New storm lash sodden North Island flood zones.
The New Zealand Herald, 20 February 2004.
Headline: NZ storm: Civilian Defence update.
The New Zealand Herald, 20 February 2004.
Headline: Battening down for another battering.
The New Zealand Herald, 21 February 2004.
Headline: Flooding leaves more than 160 homes uninhabitable in Manawatu district.
The New Zealand Herald, 21 February 2004.
Headline: Storm stricken regions facing more wind and rain.
The New Zealand Herald, 21 February 2004.
Headline: No power for thousands of homes after overnight winds.
The New Zealand Herald, 22 February 2004.
Headline: Disaster 'biggest since Napier'.
The New Zealand Herald, 23 February 2004.
Headline: Floods' litany of destruction and expense.
The New Zealand Herald, 24 May 2005.
Headline: State of emergency continues in South Taranaki
The New Zealand Herald, 25 February 2004.
Headline: Promina beats its forecast by $100m.
The New Zealand Herald, 26 February 2004.
Headline: Weather lashes vegie buyers.
www.nzherald.co.nz, 26 February 2004.
New Zealand Meteorological Service. (2008). Meteorology of Extreme Rainfalls in New Zealand (Mark Pascoe, Ed.).
Headline: Extreme weather adds to insurance premiums.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Sunday Star Times, 9 March 2008.
Sustainable Land Use Initiative. (2005). The February 2004 storm. Sustainable Land Use Initiative Update 1(September ). Horizons Regional Council.
Taranaki Regional Council. (2004). Waitotara Valley: February 2004 storm event.
Trafford, L. Storm, civil emergency, storm and flood report: February 2004.
Headline: Emergency in Waitotara.
The Wanganui Chronicle, 18 February 2004.
Headline: Evacuated residents return home in city.
The Wanganui Chronicle, 18 February 2004.
Watts, L.; Gordon, M. (2004). The 15-16 February 2004 storm in the Wellington region.