NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

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ModerateJune-July 1997 Upper North and South Island Flooding ( 1997-06-30 )

20 years

Heavy rain brought flooding to Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay in the North Island, and high winds were also experienced. Heavy rain and flooding occurred in Marlborough, Nelson and the West Coast in the South Island. Parts of Northland experienced extreme rainfall, and a man was injured when a car hit him as he stood in flood waters. One person was killed when a car hit a fallen tree.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   3  days - From 30th June to 2nd July.
Comments:

CauseOn the 1st, a deep, complex depression developed in the northern Tasman Sea. A strong northerly flow developed ahead of this depression, dragging moist, humid air towards New Zealand. On the 2nd, an associated cold front crossed the North Island. A very strong, moist northerly flow ahead of the front was responsible for the heavy rain in northern districts, the wind flow was at the ideal angle of onshore flow into the Bay of Plenty region.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicSome places received more than 200 mm (20.0 cm) of rain.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe storm brought floods to a number of districts, including the Central Plateau and Bay of Plenty.

North Island

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at North Island
Comments:

DamageGale force winds caused problems, with trees and powerlines downed from Northland to Bay of Plenty.

CasualtiesA person was killed when a car crashed into a fallen tree (region unknown).

South Island

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at South Island
Comments:

CommentThe northerly rain storm's initial impact occurred in the South Island's West Coast, Nelson and Marlborough.

Northland

FloodingFlooding at Northland
Comments:

ImpactThere was extensive flooding in rural areas in the Far North. Hundreds of hectares of farmland were inundated.

ImpactHouses, motels and cars were flooded. An estimated 20 houses spread through the district were flooded.

CommentIt was the most widespread flooding in the Far North for 20 years and was the worst flooding since Bola in some areas.

ImpactPrimary and secondary school students from over 10 schools were sent home.

Property DamageApproximatley 25 houses and properties were damaged.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineMany roads, including State Highway 1 were closed due to slips on the 30th. A total of 35 roads were blocked or damaged by flooding and slips.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

CauseConvection flared up on a front, moving south over Northland. The front appeared to activate in response to an upper level trough, guided by a 100-knot mid-level north-west jet near Norfolk Island creating strong divergence across the far north of the North Island. A strong easterly gradient added to rainfall intensities.

Affected LifelineState Highways 1, 10, and 12 were closed.

Damage CostRoading repairs from the flood were estimated to be in excess of $500,000 ($650,000 2008 dollars).

Insurance PaymentInsurance Industry Payouts for the Whangarei and District Floods on 30th June totalled $1,700,000 ($2,300,000 2008 dollars).

Insurance PaymentInsurance Industry Payouts for the Northland Floods totalled $1,200,000 ($1,570,000 2008 dollars).

LandslideLandslide at Ahipara
Map Location: -35.163776 173.157839
Comments:

EvacueesTwo houses at Tasman Heights, Ahipara, were evacuated when slips behind them threatened the houses.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Brynderwyn
Map Location: -36.096298 174.430067
Comments:

Peak RainfallThe Brynderwyn Hills recorded 310 mm (31.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th (Return Period more than 150 years).

Physical CharacteristicThe Brynderwyn Hills recorded 96 mm (9.6 cm) of rain in one hour on the 30th (Return Period more than 150 years).

Physical CharacteristicThe Brynderwyn Hills recorded 165 mm (16.5 cm) of rain in two hours on the 30th (Return Period well over 150 years).

FloodingFlooding at Cable Bay
Map Location: -34.99364 173.482758
Comments:

EvacueesHouses at Cable Bay were evacuated due to flooding.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Dargaville
Map Location: -35.944137 173.869958
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicDargaville recorded 84 mm (8.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kaitaia
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaitaia recorded 82 mm (8.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kerikeri
Map Location: -35.226015 173.946775
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKerikeri recorded 140 mm (14.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Physical CharacteristicKerikeri recorded 50.2 mm (5.0 cm) of rain in one hour on the 30th.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Parua Bay
Map Location: -35.768282 174.458587
Comments:

DamageA 12-metre yacht broke free in Parua Bay and ended up on rocks.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Purerua
Map Location: -35.153456 174.034044
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPurerua recorded 131 mm (13.1 cm) of rain in the seven hours to 4pm on the 30th (Return Period 80 years).

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Maungaturoto
Map Location: -36.111292 174.354299
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMaungaturoto recorded 268 mm (26.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th (Return Period more than 150 years).

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactFlood waters washed through the Maungatoroto Dairy Factory.

InjuriesA 20-year-old man was taken to hospital after being struck by a car while standing in flood waters.

FloodingFlooding at Mill Bay
Map Location: -34.987485 173.528699
Comments:

EvacueesHouses at Mill Bay were evacuated due to flooding.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Ngunguru
Map Location: -35.631206 174.495416
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNgunguru recorded 151 mm (15.1 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Oakleigh
Map Location: -35.831587 174.309415
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicOakleigh recorded 92 mm (9.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

FloodingFlooding at One Tree Point
Map Location: -35.81926 174.454694
Comments:

EvacueesTwo homes at One Tree Point were evacuated due to flooding.

LandslideLandslide at Opua
Map Location: -35.314323 174.11743
Comments:

EvacueesResidents of a 100-year-old block of flats on the waterfront at Opua were evacuated as a slip threatened the building.

FloodingFlooding at Paihia
Map Location: -35.284049 174.084489
Comments:

ImpactSeven units of a motel at Paihia were flooded.

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

Physical CharacteristicPuhipuhi recorded 180 mm (18.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding at Russell
Map Location: -35.260642 174.122015
Comments:

ImpactThree units of a motel at Russell were flooded.

FloodingFlooding at Taipa
Map Location: -34.996025 173.461422
Comments:

ImpactA school bus had to be evacuated at Taipa.

FloodingFlooding at Tangowahine
Map Location: -35.867829 173.934219
Comments:

ImpactTangowahine school closed early and remained closed.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waipu
Map Location: -35.985133 174.45213
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaipu recorded 220 mm (22.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineSwollen rivers blocked the bridges at each end of the Waipu township on the 30th.

ImpactPaddocks were turned into a lake.

ImpactSeveral businesses were flooded with ankle-deep water.

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

Physical CharacteristicWhangarei recorded 103 mm (10.3 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Okara sewage pumping station overflowed into the harbour.

Waikato

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waikato
Comments:

CommentHigh rainfall occurred throughout the Coromandel, Tongariro and Taupo.

Bay of Plenty

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Bay of Plenty
Comments:

CommentHigh rainfall occurred throughout the Bay of Plenty.

Physical CharacteristicThe Bay of Plenty received 60 mm (6.0 cm) of rain in an hour.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineMany roads closed overnight on the 1st/2nd.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe Whakatane River reached its highest level since 1964.

FloodingFlooding at Waimana
Map Location: -38.140838 177.072413
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe town of Waimana was isolated by record river levels.

ImpactFarmland around Waimana was flooded.

Physical CharacteristicThe pastures on one Waimana farm were buried under more than 1 m of silt.

Damage CostAfter the flooding on their farm, one couple had spent $70,000 trying to revive their low-lying pastures, and their lost income stood at about $100,000 (a total of $220,000 2008 dollars).

Property DamageAnother farm across the Waimana River, which was probably the worst-hit by the floods, lost pasture, fence posts and a section of the only road leading to the property. They had spent nearly $100,000 ($130,000 2008 dollars) on repairing the farm and road.

Hawke's Bay

FloodingFlooding at Hawke's Bay
Comments:

CommentFlooding occurred in Hawke's Bay on the 1st.

Marlborough

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Marlborough
Comments:

CommentHigh rainfall occurred throughout Marlborough.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactRural areas of the Marlborough Sounds were badly affected.

CommentRivers ran high.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineFlooding and slips affected roads.

ImpactFlooding and slips affected properties.

LandslideLandslide at Havelock
Map Location: -41.278554 173.755773
Comments:

Property DamageSlips damaged homes in Havelock.

EvacueesPeople were evacuated in Havelock.

Tasman-Nelson

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tasman-Nelson
Comments:

CommentHigh rainfall occurred throughout Golden Bay and Nelson.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactRural areas of Nelson were badly affected.

LandslideLandslide at Brightwater
Map Location: -41.375969 173.093992
Comments:

Property DamageSlips damaged homes in Brighwater.

EvacueesPeople were evacuated in Brighwater.

West Coast

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at West Coast
Comments:

CommentHigh rainfall occurred throughout Buller.

References

Gray, W. Overview of weather and coastal hazards in the Northland region, Part I: Weather hazards.
Insurance Councils. The Cost of Weather Loses, Claims history (Updated 2004).
Major weather events in New Zealand, Floods and High Rainfall, Floods to 30 Sept 2005.
www.metservice, notable weather events.govt.nz.
New Zealand Meteorological Service. (2008). Meteorology of Extreme Rainfalls in New Zealand (Mark Pascoe, Ed.).
Headline: Flood-hit farms now bogged down in financial quagmire.
www.nzherald.co.nz, 3 July 1999.
Headline: Day of rain brings chaos to lower Northland area.
The Northern Advocate, 1 July 1997.
Headline: Deluge brings Bola-style flooding.
The Northern Advocate, 1 July 1997.
Headline: Floods cause havoc.
The Northern Advocate, 1 July 1997.
Headline: Lastest floods undo clean-up effort.
The Northern Advocate, 2 July 1997.

ModerateJune-July 1997 Upper North and South Island Flooding ( 1997-06-30 )

20 years

Heavy rain brought flooding to Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay in the North Island, and high winds were also experienced. Heavy rain and flooding occurred in Marlborough, Nelson and the West Coast in the South Island. Parts of Northland experienced extreme rainfall, and a man was injured when a car hit him as he stood in flood waters. One person was killed when a car hit a fallen tree.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   3  days - From 30th June to 2nd July.
Comments:

CauseOn the 1st, a deep, complex depression developed in the northern Tasman Sea. A strong northerly flow developed ahead of this depression, dragging moist, humid air towards New Zealand. On the 2nd, an associated cold front crossed the North Island. A very strong, moist northerly flow ahead of the front was responsible for the heavy rain in northern districts, the wind flow was at the ideal angle of onshore flow into the Bay of Plenty region.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicSome places received more than 200 mm (20.0 cm) of rain.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe storm brought floods to a number of districts, including the Central Plateau and Bay of Plenty.

North Island

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at North Island
Comments:

DamageGale force winds caused problems, with trees and powerlines downed from Northland to Bay of Plenty.

CasualtiesA person was killed when a car crashed into a fallen tree (region unknown).

South Island

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at South Island
Comments:

CommentThe northerly rain storm's initial impact occurred in the South Island's West Coast, Nelson and Marlborough.

Northland

FloodingFlooding at Northland
Comments:

ImpactThere was extensive flooding in rural areas in the Far North. Hundreds of hectares of farmland were inundated.

ImpactHouses, motels and cars were flooded. An estimated 20 houses spread through the district were flooded.

CommentIt was the most widespread flooding in the Far North for 20 years and was the worst flooding since Bola in some areas.

ImpactPrimary and secondary school students from over 10 schools were sent home.

Property DamageApproximatley 25 houses and properties were damaged.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineMany roads, including State Highway 1 were closed due to slips on the 30th. A total of 35 roads were blocked or damaged by flooding and slips.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

CauseConvection flared up on a front, moving south over Northland. The front appeared to activate in response to an upper level trough, guided by a 100-knot mid-level north-west jet near Norfolk Island creating strong divergence across the far north of the North Island. A strong easterly gradient added to rainfall intensities.

Affected LifelineState Highways 1, 10, and 12 were closed.

Damage CostRoading repairs from the flood were estimated to be in excess of $500,000 ($650,000 2008 dollars).

Insurance PaymentInsurance Industry Payouts for the Whangarei and District Floods on 30th June totalled $1,700,000 ($2,300,000 2008 dollars).

Insurance PaymentInsurance Industry Payouts for the Northland Floods totalled $1,200,000 ($1,570,000 2008 dollars).

LandslideLandslide at Ahipara
Map Location: -35.163776 173.157839
Comments:

EvacueesTwo houses at Tasman Heights, Ahipara, were evacuated when slips behind them threatened the houses.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Brynderwyn
Map Location: -36.096298 174.430067
Comments:

Peak RainfallThe Brynderwyn Hills recorded 310 mm (31.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th (Return Period more than 150 years).

Physical CharacteristicThe Brynderwyn Hills recorded 96 mm (9.6 cm) of rain in one hour on the 30th (Return Period more than 150 years).

Physical CharacteristicThe Brynderwyn Hills recorded 165 mm (16.5 cm) of rain in two hours on the 30th (Return Period well over 150 years).

FloodingFlooding at Cable Bay
Map Location: -34.99364 173.482758
Comments:

EvacueesHouses at Cable Bay were evacuated due to flooding.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Dargaville
Map Location: -35.944137 173.869958
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicDargaville recorded 84 mm (8.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kaitaia
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaitaia recorded 82 mm (8.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kerikeri
Map Location: -35.226015 173.946775
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKerikeri recorded 140 mm (14.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Physical CharacteristicKerikeri recorded 50.2 mm (5.0 cm) of rain in one hour on the 30th.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Parua Bay
Map Location: -35.768282 174.458587
Comments:

DamageA 12-metre yacht broke free in Parua Bay and ended up on rocks.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Purerua
Map Location: -35.153456 174.034044
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPurerua recorded 131 mm (13.1 cm) of rain in the seven hours to 4pm on the 30th (Return Period 80 years).

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Maungaturoto
Map Location: -36.111292 174.354299
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMaungaturoto recorded 268 mm (26.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th (Return Period more than 150 years).

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactFlood waters washed through the Maungatoroto Dairy Factory.

InjuriesA 20-year-old man was taken to hospital after being struck by a car while standing in flood waters.

FloodingFlooding at Mill Bay
Map Location: -34.987485 173.528699
Comments:

EvacueesHouses at Mill Bay were evacuated due to flooding.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Ngunguru
Map Location: -35.631206 174.495416
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNgunguru recorded 151 mm (15.1 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Oakleigh
Map Location: -35.831587 174.309415
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicOakleigh recorded 92 mm (9.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

FloodingFlooding at One Tree Point
Map Location: -35.81926 174.454694
Comments:

EvacueesTwo homes at One Tree Point were evacuated due to flooding.

LandslideLandslide at Opua
Map Location: -35.314323 174.11743
Comments:

EvacueesResidents of a 100-year-old block of flats on the waterfront at Opua were evacuated as a slip threatened the building.

FloodingFlooding at Paihia
Map Location: -35.284049 174.084489
Comments:

ImpactSeven units of a motel at Paihia were flooded.

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

Physical CharacteristicPuhipuhi recorded 180 mm (18.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding at Russell
Map Location: -35.260642 174.122015
Comments:

ImpactThree units of a motel at Russell were flooded.

FloodingFlooding at Taipa
Map Location: -34.996025 173.461422
Comments:

ImpactA school bus had to be evacuated at Taipa.

FloodingFlooding at Tangowahine
Map Location: -35.867829 173.934219
Comments:

ImpactTangowahine school closed early and remained closed.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waipu
Map Location: -35.985133 174.45213
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaipu recorded 220 mm (22.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineSwollen rivers blocked the bridges at each end of the Waipu township on the 30th.

ImpactPaddocks were turned into a lake.

ImpactSeveral businesses were flooded with ankle-deep water.

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

Physical CharacteristicWhangarei recorded 103 mm (10.3 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 30th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Okara sewage pumping station overflowed into the harbour.

Waikato

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Waikato
Comments:

CommentHigh rainfall occurred throughout the Coromandel, Tongariro and Taupo.

Bay of Plenty

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Bay of Plenty
Comments:

CommentHigh rainfall occurred throughout the Bay of Plenty.

Physical CharacteristicThe Bay of Plenty received 60 mm (6.0 cm) of rain in an hour.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineMany roads closed overnight on the 1st/2nd.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe Whakatane River reached its highest level since 1964.

FloodingFlooding at Waimana
Map Location: -38.140838 177.072413
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe town of Waimana was isolated by record river levels.

ImpactFarmland around Waimana was flooded.

Physical CharacteristicThe pastures on one Waimana farm were buried under more than 1 m of silt.

Damage CostAfter the flooding on their farm, one couple had spent $70,000 trying to revive their low-lying pastures, and their lost income stood at about $100,000 (a total of $220,000 2008 dollars).

Property DamageAnother farm across the Waimana River, which was probably the worst-hit by the floods, lost pasture, fence posts and a section of the only road leading to the property. They had spent nearly $100,000 ($130,000 2008 dollars) on repairing the farm and road.

Hawke's Bay

FloodingFlooding at Hawke's Bay
Comments:

CommentFlooding occurred in Hawke's Bay on the 1st.

Marlborough

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Marlborough
Comments:

CommentHigh rainfall occurred throughout Marlborough.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactRural areas of the Marlborough Sounds were badly affected.

CommentRivers ran high.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineFlooding and slips affected roads.

ImpactFlooding and slips affected properties.

LandslideLandslide at Havelock
Map Location: -41.278554 173.755773
Comments:

Property DamageSlips damaged homes in Havelock.

EvacueesPeople were evacuated in Havelock.

Tasman-Nelson

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tasman-Nelson
Comments:

CommentHigh rainfall occurred throughout Golden Bay and Nelson.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactRural areas of Nelson were badly affected.

LandslideLandslide at Brightwater
Map Location: -41.375969 173.093992
Comments:

Property DamageSlips damaged homes in Brighwater.

EvacueesPeople were evacuated in Brighwater.

West Coast

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at West Coast
Comments:

CommentHigh rainfall occurred throughout Buller.

References

Gray, W. Overview of weather and coastal hazards in the Northland region, Part I: Weather hazards.
Insurance Councils. The Cost of Weather Loses, Claims history (Updated 2004).
Major weather events in New Zealand, Floods and High Rainfall, Floods to 30 Sept 2005.
www.metservice, notable weather events.govt.nz.
New Zealand Meteorological Service. (2008). Meteorology of Extreme Rainfalls in New Zealand (Mark Pascoe, Ed.).
Headline: Flood-hit farms now bogged down in financial quagmire.
www.nzherald.co.nz, 3 July 1999.
Headline: Day of rain brings chaos to lower Northland area.
The Northern Advocate, 1 July 1997.
Headline: Deluge brings Bola-style flooding.
The Northern Advocate, 1 July 1997.
Headline: Floods cause havoc.
The Northern Advocate, 1 July 1997.
Headline: Lastest floods undo clean-up effort.
The Northern Advocate, 2 July 1997.