NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

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ModerateNovember 2008 Upper South Island Flooding ( 2008-11-23 )

Heavy rain brought flooding to the Nelson-Tasman region, Marlborough and the West Coast. There was also heavy rain in parts of the North Island, mainly Taranaki, and high winds hit various places across the country.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   3  days - From the 23rd to the 25th of November.
Comments:

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 9:39 am 21-Nov-2008: Heavy rain for the north and west of the South Island this weekend, continuing on Monday. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: northern Fiordland, Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds and Richmond Ranges.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:56 pm 21-Nov-2008: Heavy rain for the north and west of the South Island this weekend, continuing on Monday, with spillover into the headwaters of Otago and Canterbury. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: northern Fiordland, Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds and Richmond Ranges, also headwaters of the main lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka to the Waimakariri River.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 9:02 am 22-Nov-2008: Heavy rain for the north and west of the South Island this weekend, continuing on Monday, with spillover into the headwaters of Otago and Canterbury. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: northern Fiordland, Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds and Richmond Ranges, also headwaters of the main lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka to the Waimakariri River.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 9:13 am 22-Nov-2008: Heavy rain for the north and west of the South Island this weekend, continuing on Monday, with spillover into the headwaters of Otago and Canterbury. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: northern Fiordland, Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds and Richmond Ranges, also headwaters of the main lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka to the Waimakariri River.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:41 pm 22-Nov-2008: Rain continues Sunday and Monday for Nelson and Marlborough, heavy rain spreads back into Buller and Westland during Sunday. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Ranges and the headwaters of the Canterbury and Otago rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Rain Warning lifted for Fiordland.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 9:29 am 23-Nov-2008: Rain continues Sunday and Monday for Nelson and Marlborough, heavy rain spreads back into Buller and Westland during Sunday. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Range and the headwaters of the Canterbury and Otago rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 12:08 pm 23-Nov-2008: More heavy rain for Westland, Buller, Nelson and Marlborough Sounds from Sunday night, also from Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu from Sunday night to Tuesday morning. Also severe northerly gales near Cook Strait on Monday evening. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Range, headwaters of the Canterbury and Otago rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards, also Mt Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu; and STRONG WIND WARNING for: outer Marlborough Sounds also south coast and higher hill tops of Wellington.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:06 pm 23-Nov-2008: Heavy rain during Monday in west and north of South Island and about Central North Island country. Severe northerly gales near Cook Strait Monday evening. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Ranges, headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards, Mt Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu; and STRONG WIND WARNING for: outer Marlborough Sounds and also the south coast and higher hill tops of Wellington.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 9:24 am 24-Nov-2008: Heavy rain today in west and north of South Island and spreading from Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu and eastern Bay of Plenty. Severe northerly gales developing near Cook Strait this evening spreading to Wairarapa early Tuesday. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Ranges, headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards, Mt Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu and eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty; and STRONG WIND WARNING for: outer Marlborough Sounds and also the south coast and higher hill tops of Wellington and exposed areas in Wairarapa.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:18 pm 24-Nov-2008: Heavy rain easing tonight in west and north of South Island. Heavy rain in Central North Island easing in morning. Severe northerly gales about Central New Zealand tonight. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Ranges, headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards, Mt Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu and eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty; and STRONG WIND WARNING for: outer Marlborough Sounds and the eastern Marlborough hills, the higher hill tops and south coast of Wellington, exposed areas in Wairarapa.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 7:23 am 25-Nov-2008: Heavy rain has eased overnight in most places but some remaining in Westland and eastern Bay of Plenty this morning. Gales have eased over Central New Zealand. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland ranges south of Otira, eastern Bay of Plenty ranges. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Rain Warnings lifted for Westland north of Otira, Buller , Nelson, Marlborough, the Otago and Canterbury headwaters, Mt Taranaki and the hills eastwards to Mt Ruapehu; and Strong Wind Warnings lifted for Wellington, Wairarapa, Marlborough Sounds and hills of eastern Marlborough.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 11:56 am 25-Nov-2008: High winds North Canterbury and Kaikoura coast easing this afternoon. Heavy rain in Westland ranges easing this afternoon. Warning lifted for eastern Bay of Plenty. Includes STRONG WIND WARNING for: North Canterbury, the Kaikoura coast and the eastern hills of Marlborough south of Blenheim; and HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland ranges south of Otira. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Rain Warning lifted for eastern Bay of Plenty ranges.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 3:54 pm 25-Nov-2008: Rain in the Westland ranges is now easing, northwest gales in North Canterbury and eastern Marlborough abating. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Rain Warning lifted for Westland ranges south of Otira; and Strong Wind Warnings lifted for North Canterbury, the Kaikoura coast and the eastern hills of Marlborough south of Blenheim.

CauseAs a high slowly moved away to the east, a large low gradually moved across the Taman Sea. A strong, humid northerly flow between the two systems covered the country on the 23rd, with several fronts, dragging air down from the subtropics. On the night of the 24th, the low crossed the South Island and the flow tended westerly. There was a brief blast of north-westerly gales in Canterbury before a cold front brought a south-westerly change later in the afternoon on the 25th.

South Island

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at South Island
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicUp to 400 mm (40 cm) of rain fell in some places in the South Island on the 23rd.

CommentHeavy rain came down on Westland, Buller, Nelson, the Marlborough Sounds and along the Richmond Range on the 23rd.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineRocks and trees were reported on many roads in the West Coast, Nelson and Blenhiem areas.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineFlooding closed the State Highway 6 between Hira (Tasman-Nelson) and Havelock (Marlborough).

Northland

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Northland
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Fire Service was called to clear trees from three separate parts of SH1 near Kaitaia, Kawakawa and Kaikohe on the evening of the 24th.

Auckland

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Auckland Harbour Bridge
Map Location: -36.830581 174.746084
Comments:

ImpactPoor weather in Auckland overnight on the 23rd caused a truck to jack-knife on the Harbour Bridge.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Manurewa
Map Location: -37.027498 174.880907
Comments:

DamageA tree fell on a house in Short Street, Manurewa, shortly after 7.30pm on the 24th. It did not cause any structural damage.

Taranaki

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Mount Taranaki
Map Location: -39.295865 174.063806
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMore than 300 mm (30 cm) of rain was recorded on Mt Taranaki.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at New Plymouth
Map Location: -39.051214 174.06972
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNew Plymouth recorded 35 mm (3.5 cm) of rain.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Stratford
Map Location: -39.343721 174.267614
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicStratford recorded 61 mm (6.1 cm) of rain.

Marlborough

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Marlborough
Comments:

CommentThe heavy rain overnight on the 24th caused havoc from Rai Valley through to Havelock.

LandslideLandslide at Canvastown
Map Location: -41.293483 173.671169
Comments:

Affected LifelineA slip blocked State Highway 6 at Racecourse Stream, between Blenheim and Nelson, for a time on the morning of the 25th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineTorrential rain caused the Wakamarina River to break its banks and spill over the lower Wakamarina Rd and surrounding properties.

ImpactFloodwaters entered the Trout Hotel and the Canvastown Memorial Hall on the evening of the 24th. Several residents and a Rotorua family who were rescued from their cars after they became trapped in the floods, stayed at the hotel on the night of the 24th because they could not get home.

ImpactA woman was marooned in rapidly rising flood waters after her car became stranded on the flooded SH6, about one kilometre on the Nelson side of Dalton's Bridge on the night of the 24th. Her husband and 10-year-old son were stranded further down the road in another car when they tried to rescue her. All were rescued by two men on a tractor and truck.

Physical CharacteristicThe water was about 1 metre deep over the road where the woman's car was stranded.

ImpactAt Pinedale Motor Camp, the Wakamarina River rose up to the picnic and barbecue area.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicA Wakamarina Road farmer recorded 117.5 mm (11.8 cm) of rain in his NIWA rain gauge in the 24 hours from 9am on the 24th.

Physical CharacteristicA same farmer recorded 40 mm (4.0 cm) of rain on the 23rd.

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

ImpactAt the Pelorus Bridge camping ground, the Pelorus River rose up and overflowed straight onto the camping field. All campers had been relocated to the Pelorus Outdoor Centre early on the morning of the 24th. The camping ground was likely to be closed for about a week.

Physical CharacteristicThe water rose more than 1 metre around the toilet block, leaving it covered in mud, silt and debris.

FloodingFlooding at Rai Valley
Map Location: -41.228278 173.5715
Comments:

DamageA Rai Valley dairy farmer said his property flooded rapidly overnight on the 24th. Everything was coming out of the ground, his K Line irrigation was no longer in place, his mower and hay rake were well under water and he guessed nearly 100 of his fresh hay bales had floated away.

Physical CharacteristicHe estimated the water was about 2 metres at its deepest point.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Richmond Range
Map Location: -41.501605 173.332517
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Richmond Ranges had just over 100 mm (10 cm) of rain.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tunakino River
Map Location: -41.180614 173.644989
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicOne of the worst affected areas in Marlborough was Tunakino, which had received 312 mm (31.2 cm) of rain from the 22nd.

FloodingFlooding at Wairau River
Map Location: -41.484059 173.79526
Comments:

Peak River FlowThe Wairau River recorded its highest peak of 1860 cumecs at 6am on the 25th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wairau Valley
Map Location: -41.560319 173.527629
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Wairau Valley hills had 50 mm (5 cm) of rain.

Tasman-Nelson

FloodingFlooding at Tasman-Nelson
Comments:

CommentOfficials were close to declaring a state of emergency in the Nelson region on the night of the 24th as heavy rain caused flooding across the region.

ImpactVineyards in the region turned into lakes.

Stock DamageA dead cow was reported floating down the river at Paynes Ford, but it was not yet known how many livestock had drowned.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicUp to 300 mm (30 cm) of rain fell in parts of the Nelson region in 24 hours.

CauseThe persistent rain was pushed into the hills above Nelson and Golden Bay by strong northerly winds.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineSH 60 from Riwaka to Collingwood was closed because of a slip on the Takaka side of Takaka Hill, cutting off Golden Bay. The Takaka Hill and Takaka Valley Roads were closed overnight on the 24th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedThe maximum wind gust was 74 km/hr, recorded between 5pm and 6pm on the 24th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineOn the morning of the 25th there were slips and washouts on some roads, especially in Golden Bay and on the road to St Arnaud. The Long Plain Rd in Golden Bay remained shut during the morning due to a major washout. The Aniseed Valley Rd above the Hackett car park was also closed due to trees across the road.

Damage CostDamage from the floods in the Tasman district would cost about $925,000 to repair, the majority of it being in Golden Bay.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Anatoki Range
Map Location: -40.943354 172.689035
Comments:

Physical Characteristic300 mm (30 cm) of rain fell in the Anatoki high country in 24 hours from 6pm on the 23rd to 6pm on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Brightwater
Map Location: -41.375969 173.093992
Comments:

Affected LifelineSH6 around the Brightwater Bridge was awash on the 24th.

ImpactNeighbouring vineyards were flooded and residents in six houses on Bryants Rd were trapped inside from about 8.30pm as the river came up to the road.

Peak River FlowThe Brightwater River was threatening and peaked around 7pm on the 24th at 1050 cumecs. It was down to 250 cumecs on Tuesday morning.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Golden Bay
Map Location: -40.698766 172.864683
Comments:

ImpactHeavy rain and strong winds forced schools in Golden Bay to close early on the 24th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicOver two days from the 23rd to the 24th, there was more than 200 mm (20 cm) of rain in Golden Bay.

FloodingFlooding at Kaiteriteri
Map Location: -41.039225 173.018605
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere were two dropouts on the Kaiteriteri-Sandy Bay road.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kotinga
Map Location: -40.879202 172.791362
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAt Kotinga, just above Takaka, 200 mm (20 cm) of rain fell in 24 hours from 6pm on the 23rd to 6pm on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Peak River FlowThe Takaka River reached a peak flow of 1500 cumecs at Kotinga bridge.

FloodingFlooding at Lee River
Map Location: -41.492936 173.175585
Comments:

ImpactThree Tasman District Council hydrologists were trapped in the Upper Lee Valley on the night of the 24th when heavy rain made the ford crossings impassable.

FloodingFlooding at Ligar Bay
Map Location: -40.819018 172.905339
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere was a dropout on Abel Tasman Drive, near Ligar Bay.

FloodingFlooding at Maitai Dam
Map Location: -41.294828 173.371483
Comments:

CommentThe Maitai dam had continued to overflow with recent rainfall.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Maitai hills area behind Nelson recorded 123 mm (12.3 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9pm on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Maori Pa Beach
Map Location: -41.160812 173.45295
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe road to Delaware Bay was cut off with flooding over the causeway at Maori Pa Bridge.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Motueka
Map Location: -41.10406 173.020407
Comments:

DamageSeveral roofs were lifted by gale force winds in Motueka on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Nelson city
Map Location: -41.268476 173.297338
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe city council closed the Maitai Valley Road in Nelson, as river levels continued to rise. Avon Terrace was also closed due to flooding.

ImpactThe Maitai walkway from Collingwood St to Bridge St was closed to pedestrians because of fast flowing water over the footpath in places.

CommentThe Matai River came extremely close to bursting its banks and flooding parts of the city. Sandbags were placed along the river banks and around some properties as a precaution. The river reached the basements of some houses and reached overflow point in other areas.

Peak River FlowThe Maitai River peaked at 1035 cumecs at Avon Tce at about 7.30pm on the 24th.

CommentLarge debris was swept down the Maitai River, with trees and logs from the July windstorm picked up and carried away.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe weather monitoring site in Stoke recorded around 90 mm (9 cm) of rain in 36 hours from the 23rd to the 24th - close to double its monthly average rainfall.

CommentThe heavy rain eased shortly before high tide at 8.30pm on the 24th.

Affected LifelineThe prolonged rainfall on the night of the 24th caused raw sewage to overflow from sewer manholes in five or six areas in Nelson, as a result of stormwater infiltrating the sewer network.

Physical CharacteristicThe hills above Nelson city recorded 136 mm (13.6 cm) of rain.

Physical CharacteristicNelson Airport recorded 59 mm (5.9 cm) of rain on the 24th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Damage CostThe cost of damage to Nelson streets had so far been calculated at $25,000.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Parapara Ridge
Map Location: -40.813246 172.691419
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe ranges between Takaka and Collingwood were lashed by 328 mm (32.8 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 8pm on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Pelorus River
Map Location: -41.280147 173.71759
Comments:

ImpactBacteria testing of the Pelorus River at Totara Flat showed levels soaring to 20,000 the day after the flooding.

FloodingFlooding at Rai Falls
Map Location: -41.286348 173.574391
Comments:

ImpactBacteria testing of the Rai River at Rai Falls recorded a contamination of 8,900 the day after the flooding.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicRai Falls recorded 266 mm (26.6 cm) of rain in 72 hours.

FloodingFlooding at Riwaka
Map Location: -41.078397 172.990055
Comments:

CommentThere was surface flooding around the Riwaka Valley on the night of the 24th.

ImpactA house in Riwaka was flooded at 8.15pm on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Riwaka River (North Branch)
Map Location: -41.03513 172.901466
Comments:

Peak River FlowThe Riwaka North River flow peaked at about 76 cumecs - the second highest on record, being only 200 m below the 1983 flood level.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Takaka
Map Location: -40.853555 172.80093
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTakaka recorded 128 mm (12.8 cm) of rain on the 23rd.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactTakaka was the worst hit with flooding, with water flowing through the main streets. Water poured down Commercial St and seeped into three low-lying shops. One of the worst-hit buildings was The Dangerous Kitchen, where the water came all the way through the cafe.

Affected LifelineCommercial St was closed to traffic.

CommentIt was described as the worst flood to hit Takaka since 1986. The owner of the Junction Hotel in Takaka said it was the worst she had seen in 25 years.

CommentThe flood peaked at 7.36pm on the 24th in Takaka.

Affected LifelineTakaka was cut off from 4.45pm with both SH60 in the Takaka Valley and Waitapu Bridge towards Collingwood closed by heavy flooding.

LandslideLandslide at Totaranui
Map Location: -40.822208 173.004315
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere were several slips on Totaranui Rd.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Upper Takaka
Map Location: -41.027833 172.823593
Comments:

Physical Characteristic257 mm (25.7 cm) of rain fell above Upper Takaka.

LandslideLandslide at Uruwhenua
Map Location: -40.989111 172.822509
Comments:

EvacueesOne family living at Craigieburn, near Urewhenua, was evacuated on the afternoon of the 24th because of a landslip behind their home. They returned home that night.

FloodingFlooding at Waimea River
Map Location: -41.336776 173.119626
Comments:

CommentThere was surface flooding on areas of the Waimea Plains on the night of the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Whangamoa homestead
Map Location: -41.160947 173.527424
Comments:

ImpactA man was driving along SH6 on the Serpentine straight, about 10km north of Rai Valley, when the car he was driving plunged down an eight-metre bank into the flooded Collins River river and was swept 100 m downstream. After he got out of the car he was swept about another 100 m before managing to reach the bank. The man had been driving in torrential rain before losing control of his car.

West Coast

FloodingFlooding at West Coast
Comments:

CommentDownpours in the central West Coast caused some surface flooding.

Affected LifelineMany roads on the West Coast were partially under water on the morning of the 25th.

Affected LifelineSH 6 between Whataroa and Haast was closed from about 7pm on the 24th until the next morning due to serious surface flooding at Lake Wahapo.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

DamageStrong winds blew down fences and trees.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

ImpactAccess to the glaciers was closed on the morning of the 25th because of the amount of ice melt.

FloodingFlooding at Arahura
Map Location: -42.689576 171.029609
Comments:

ImpactThe access bridge for construction workers at the Arahura Bridge was damaged by the flooding. The roads to the temporary bridge were also destroyed, but were quickly being rebuilt.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Cropp River
Map Location: -43.078492 171.000521
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Cropp River station recorded 991 mm (99.1 cm) of rain in three days from the 23rd to the 25th. This was a a one-in-20- to a one-in-50-year rainfall event.

Peak RainfallThe Cropp River station recorded 588 mm (58.8 cm) of rain on the 24th.

Physical CharacteristicThe Cropp River station recorded 48 mm (4.8 cm) of rain in one hour on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Dobson Creek
Map Location: -42.666719 171.256046
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Dobson River, 8 km from Greymouth was at alarm level one early on the 24th and later rose 60 cm over its first warning level to just over 4 m.

FloodingFlooding at Fox Glacier
Map Location: -43.465898 170.01973
Comments:

Affected LifelineAbout 70% of the Fox Glacier access road was washed away when the Fox River burst its banks on the 25th. A 300m stretch of road, including half the causeway and half the car parking area, was gone, leaving no vehicle access to the glacier area, although foot traffic was allowed. There was no access to the actual glacier and all of the Fox Glacier Valley was closed. Four cars were stranded in the carpark. Access to the Fox Glacier was restored by the 4th December.

FloodingFlooding at Garvey Creek
Map Location: -42.16381 171.942948
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere was some surface water on roads at Garvey’s Creek near Reefton.

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

CommentGreymouth had almost as much rain in one day, on the 24th, as it had for all of November 2007.

Physical CharacteristicGreymouth aerodrome recorded 62.8 mm (6.3 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe Grey River reached the first stage alarm level.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentStrong winds threatened some roofs in Greymouth.

FloodingFlooding at Hector
Map Location: -41.606337 171.879661
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere was some surface water on roads around Hector.

FloodingFlooding at Mokihinui
Map Location: -41.524951 171.936199
Comments:

ImpactA Mokihinui dairy farmer said half his paddocks were under water on the 24th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Mount Hercules
Map Location: -43.167326 170.464956
Comments:

DamageTrees and slips were brought down on Mount Hercules, between Harihari and Whataroa.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Reefton
Map Location: -42.109955 171.867076
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicReefton recorded 90 mm (9.0 cm) of rain on the 24th. This was a November record.

FloodingFlooding at Te Kuha
Map Location: -41.828109 171.657862
Comments:

Peak River LevelTorrential rain on the 24th pushed the Buller River at Te Kuha to 8.3 m at high tide at around 9pm that night - 90 cm above its stage one flood warning level.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Westport
Map Location: -41.750212 171.582563
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBy lunchtime on the 24th, 238.2 mm (23.8 cm) of rain had fallen in Westport during the month of November - over five times as much rain as for the whole of November the year before.

Canterbury

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Canterbury
Comments:

CommentFerocious northwest winds hammered North Canterbury around midday on the 25th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Arthur's Pass village
Map Location: -42.943869 171.566812
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicArthur’s Pass received well over 300 mm (30 cm) of rain on the 24th.

Physical CharacteristicAt 6am on the 25th, 30 mm (3 cm) of rain an hour was still falling.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Culverden
Map Location: -42.776384 172.855107
Comments:

DamageExtreme winds brought down trees and power lines near Culverden.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Hanmer Springs
Map Location: -42.525185 172.834432
Comments:

DamageExtreme winds brought down trees and power lines near Hanmer.

DamageRoofing iron was ripped from the roof of Scarborough Lodge and blown across the street, causing damage to cars.

Physical CharacteristicGusts of more than 130 km/hr roared across the town.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Hundalee
Map Location: -42.597961 173.420325
Comments:

Affected LifelineExtreme winds brought down trees and power lines on SH1 around the Hundalees.

Otago

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Otago
Comments:

CommentTwo days of heavy rain across the Upper Clutha caused lake levels to rise.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Lake Hawea
Map Location: -44.61261 169.265967
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicLake Hawea reached 342.64 m at 2pm on the 26th, up more than half a metre in the past two days.

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

Physical CharacteristicLake Wakatipu was 40cm away from reaching its first flood level at 2pm on the 26th, at a height of 310.40 m.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wanaka
Map Location: -44.706574 169.12357
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicLake Wanaka was at 278.50m above sea level at 2pm on the 26th - a rise of more than a metre since the 24th.

References

Headline: Wild weather creates chaos in upper South Island.
3news.co.nz, Source: RadioLIVE, 24 November 2008, 9:50pm.
Headline: Flooded Nelson residents start the long clean-up.
3news.co.nz, Source: 3 News and NZPA, 24 November 2008, 10:41pm.
Headline: Coast mops up after deluge.
www.greystar.co.nz, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Glacier access road washed away.
www.greystar.co.nz, 26 November 2008.
Headline: Fox Glacier washout strands cars.
www.greystar.co.nz, 27 November 2008.
Headline: Arahura River damage no problem.
www.greystar.co.nz, 27 November 2008.
Headline: Fox Glacier road access restored.
www.greystar.co.nz, 4 December 2008.
Meteorological Society of New Zealand (Inc.). (2008). Climate summary for spring 2008. Newsletter 115, December 2008. 12-22
Headline: November rain five times last year’s.
The News, 24 November 2008.
Headline: Torrential rain swells Coast rivers.
The News, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Heavy rain moves in.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 23 November 2008, 1:20pm.
Headline: Schools closed by weather in Golden Bay.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 24 November 2008, 2:40pm.
Headline: Further rain forecast for tonight.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 24 November 2008, 3:08pm.
Headline: Nelson gets a dousing.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 25 November 2008, 9:20am.
Headline: Heavy rain and wind strike today.
www.nzherald.co.nz, 24 November 2008, 4:00am.
Headline: Motorists warned after storm leaves South Island roads treacherous.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA and Newstalk ZB, 25 November 2008, 11:41am.
Headline: Wild weather starts to ease.
www.odt.co.nz, 25 November 2008, 2:32pm.
Headline: Lakes approach flood alert levels.
www.odt.co.nz, 27 November 2008, 5:00am.
Headline: Stormy weather bringing downpours, strong winds.
www.radionz.co.nz, 24 November 2008, 3:59pm.
Headline: Chilly weather follows summer storms.
www.radionz.co.nz, 25 November 2008, 8:12am.
Headline: Heavy rain, high winds to lash country.
www.stuff.co.nz, 24 November 2008.
Headline: Another spring blast of wind and rain.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Dominion Post, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Rain causes havoc.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Marlborough Express, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Floods won't keep boy from mum.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Marlborough Express, 26 November 2008.
Headline: Swimmers warned to avoid rivers.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Marlborough Express, 17 December 2008.
Headline: Rising waters spark emergency alert.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 24 November 2008.
Headline: Driver swims away.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Takaka hit by worst flooding in 20 years.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Flood an opportunity to test new emergency plan.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 26 November 2008.
Headline: Tasman flood damage tops $900,000.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 28 November 2008.
Headline: Opening the floodgates of opinion.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 13 December 2008.
Headline: West Coast soaked as Canterbury fries.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Press, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Nelson man carried 100m in raging torrent.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Press, 26 November 2008.
Headline: Floods, high winds cause damage in south.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Fairfax Media in The Press, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Rain lashes the upper South Island.
tvnz.co.nz, Source: ONE News, 24 November 2008, 7:40pm.
Headline: Weather keeps services busy.
tvnz.co.nz, Source: ONE News, 25 November 2008, 6:43am.
Headline: Flood cuts Fox Glacier access road.
tvnz.co.nz, Source: ONE News, 27 November 2008, 7:48pm.
MetService Email Lists

ModerateNovember 2008 Upper South Island Flooding ( 2008-11-23 )

Heavy rain brought flooding to the Nelson-Tasman region, Marlborough and the West Coast. There was also heavy rain in parts of the North Island, mainly Taranaki, and high winds hit various places across the country.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   3  days - From the 23rd to the 25th of November.
Comments:

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 9:39 am 21-Nov-2008: Heavy rain for the north and west of the South Island this weekend, continuing on Monday. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: northern Fiordland, Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds and Richmond Ranges.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:56 pm 21-Nov-2008: Heavy rain for the north and west of the South Island this weekend, continuing on Monday, with spillover into the headwaters of Otago and Canterbury. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: northern Fiordland, Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds and Richmond Ranges, also headwaters of the main lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka to the Waimakariri River.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 9:02 am 22-Nov-2008: Heavy rain for the north and west of the South Island this weekend, continuing on Monday, with spillover into the headwaters of Otago and Canterbury. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: northern Fiordland, Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds and Richmond Ranges, also headwaters of the main lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka to the Waimakariri River.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 9:13 am 22-Nov-2008: Heavy rain for the north and west of the South Island this weekend, continuing on Monday, with spillover into the headwaters of Otago and Canterbury. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: northern Fiordland, Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds and Richmond Ranges, also headwaters of the main lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka to the Waimakariri River.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:41 pm 22-Nov-2008: Rain continues Sunday and Monday for Nelson and Marlborough, heavy rain spreads back into Buller and Westland during Sunday. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Ranges and the headwaters of the Canterbury and Otago rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Rain Warning lifted for Fiordland.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 9:29 am 23-Nov-2008: Rain continues Sunday and Monday for Nelson and Marlborough, heavy rain spreads back into Buller and Westland during Sunday. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Range and the headwaters of the Canterbury and Otago rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 12:08 pm 23-Nov-2008: More heavy rain for Westland, Buller, Nelson and Marlborough Sounds from Sunday night, also from Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu from Sunday night to Tuesday morning. Also severe northerly gales near Cook Strait on Monday evening. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Range, headwaters of the Canterbury and Otago rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards, also Mt Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu; and STRONG WIND WARNING for: outer Marlborough Sounds also south coast and higher hill tops of Wellington.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:06 pm 23-Nov-2008: Heavy rain during Monday in west and north of South Island and about Central North Island country. Severe northerly gales near Cook Strait Monday evening. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Ranges, headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards, Mt Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu; and STRONG WIND WARNING for: outer Marlborough Sounds and also the south coast and higher hill tops of Wellington.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 9:24 am 24-Nov-2008: Heavy rain today in west and north of South Island and spreading from Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu and eastern Bay of Plenty. Severe northerly gales developing near Cook Strait this evening spreading to Wairarapa early Tuesday. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Ranges, headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards, Mt Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu and eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty; and STRONG WIND WARNING for: outer Marlborough Sounds and also the south coast and higher hill tops of Wellington and exposed areas in Wairarapa.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:18 pm 24-Nov-2008: Heavy rain easing tonight in west and north of South Island. Heavy rain in Central North Island easing in morning. Severe northerly gales about Central New Zealand tonight. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond Ranges, headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers from Lake Wanaka northwards, Mt Taranaki to Mt Ruapehu and eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty; and STRONG WIND WARNING for: outer Marlborough Sounds and the eastern Marlborough hills, the higher hill tops and south coast of Wellington, exposed areas in Wairarapa.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 7:23 am 25-Nov-2008: Heavy rain has eased overnight in most places but some remaining in Westland and eastern Bay of Plenty this morning. Gales have eased over Central New Zealand. Includes HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland ranges south of Otira, eastern Bay of Plenty ranges. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Rain Warnings lifted for Westland north of Otira, Buller , Nelson, Marlborough, the Otago and Canterbury headwaters, Mt Taranaki and the hills eastwards to Mt Ruapehu; and Strong Wind Warnings lifted for Wellington, Wairarapa, Marlborough Sounds and hills of eastern Marlborough.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 11:56 am 25-Nov-2008: High winds North Canterbury and Kaikoura coast easing this afternoon. Heavy rain in Westland ranges easing this afternoon. Warning lifted for eastern Bay of Plenty. Includes STRONG WIND WARNING for: North Canterbury, the Kaikoura coast and the eastern hills of Marlborough south of Blenheim; and HEAVY RAIN WARNING for: Westland ranges south of Otira. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Rain Warning lifted for eastern Bay of Plenty ranges.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 3:54 pm 25-Nov-2008: Rain in the Westland ranges is now easing, northwest gales in North Canterbury and eastern Marlborough abating. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Rain Warning lifted for Westland ranges south of Otira; and Strong Wind Warnings lifted for North Canterbury, the Kaikoura coast and the eastern hills of Marlborough south of Blenheim.

CauseAs a high slowly moved away to the east, a large low gradually moved across the Taman Sea. A strong, humid northerly flow between the two systems covered the country on the 23rd, with several fronts, dragging air down from the subtropics. On the night of the 24th, the low crossed the South Island and the flow tended westerly. There was a brief blast of north-westerly gales in Canterbury before a cold front brought a south-westerly change later in the afternoon on the 25th.

South Island

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at South Island
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicUp to 400 mm (40 cm) of rain fell in some places in the South Island on the 23rd.

CommentHeavy rain came down on Westland, Buller, Nelson, the Marlborough Sounds and along the Richmond Range on the 23rd.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineRocks and trees were reported on many roads in the West Coast, Nelson and Blenhiem areas.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineFlooding closed the State Highway 6 between Hira (Tasman-Nelson) and Havelock (Marlborough).

Northland

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Northland
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Fire Service was called to clear trees from three separate parts of SH1 near Kaitaia, Kawakawa and Kaikohe on the evening of the 24th.

Auckland

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Auckland Harbour Bridge
Map Location: -36.830581 174.746084
Comments:

ImpactPoor weather in Auckland overnight on the 23rd caused a truck to jack-knife on the Harbour Bridge.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Manurewa
Map Location: -37.027498 174.880907
Comments:

DamageA tree fell on a house in Short Street, Manurewa, shortly after 7.30pm on the 24th. It did not cause any structural damage.

Taranaki

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Mount Taranaki
Map Location: -39.295865 174.063806
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMore than 300 mm (30 cm) of rain was recorded on Mt Taranaki.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at New Plymouth
Map Location: -39.051214 174.06972
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNew Plymouth recorded 35 mm (3.5 cm) of rain.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Stratford
Map Location: -39.343721 174.267614
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicStratford recorded 61 mm (6.1 cm) of rain.

Marlborough

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Marlborough
Comments:

CommentThe heavy rain overnight on the 24th caused havoc from Rai Valley through to Havelock.

LandslideLandslide at Canvastown
Map Location: -41.293483 173.671169
Comments:

Affected LifelineA slip blocked State Highway 6 at Racecourse Stream, between Blenheim and Nelson, for a time on the morning of the 25th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineTorrential rain caused the Wakamarina River to break its banks and spill over the lower Wakamarina Rd and surrounding properties.

ImpactFloodwaters entered the Trout Hotel and the Canvastown Memorial Hall on the evening of the 24th. Several residents and a Rotorua family who were rescued from their cars after they became trapped in the floods, stayed at the hotel on the night of the 24th because they could not get home.

ImpactA woman was marooned in rapidly rising flood waters after her car became stranded on the flooded SH6, about one kilometre on the Nelson side of Dalton's Bridge on the night of the 24th. Her husband and 10-year-old son were stranded further down the road in another car when they tried to rescue her. All were rescued by two men on a tractor and truck.

Physical CharacteristicThe water was about 1 metre deep over the road where the woman's car was stranded.

ImpactAt Pinedale Motor Camp, the Wakamarina River rose up to the picnic and barbecue area.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicA Wakamarina Road farmer recorded 117.5 mm (11.8 cm) of rain in his NIWA rain gauge in the 24 hours from 9am on the 24th.

Physical CharacteristicA same farmer recorded 40 mm (4.0 cm) of rain on the 23rd.

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

ImpactAt the Pelorus Bridge camping ground, the Pelorus River rose up and overflowed straight onto the camping field. All campers had been relocated to the Pelorus Outdoor Centre early on the morning of the 24th. The camping ground was likely to be closed for about a week.

Physical CharacteristicThe water rose more than 1 metre around the toilet block, leaving it covered in mud, silt and debris.

FloodingFlooding at Rai Valley
Map Location: -41.228278 173.5715
Comments:

DamageA Rai Valley dairy farmer said his property flooded rapidly overnight on the 24th. Everything was coming out of the ground, his K Line irrigation was no longer in place, his mower and hay rake were well under water and he guessed nearly 100 of his fresh hay bales had floated away.

Physical CharacteristicHe estimated the water was about 2 metres at its deepest point.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Richmond Range
Map Location: -41.501605 173.332517
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Richmond Ranges had just over 100 mm (10 cm) of rain.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tunakino River
Map Location: -41.180614 173.644989
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicOne of the worst affected areas in Marlborough was Tunakino, which had received 312 mm (31.2 cm) of rain from the 22nd.

FloodingFlooding at Wairau River
Map Location: -41.484059 173.79526
Comments:

Peak River FlowThe Wairau River recorded its highest peak of 1860 cumecs at 6am on the 25th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wairau Valley
Map Location: -41.560319 173.527629
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Wairau Valley hills had 50 mm (5 cm) of rain.

Tasman-Nelson

FloodingFlooding at Tasman-Nelson
Comments:

CommentOfficials were close to declaring a state of emergency in the Nelson region on the night of the 24th as heavy rain caused flooding across the region.

ImpactVineyards in the region turned into lakes.

Stock DamageA dead cow was reported floating down the river at Paynes Ford, but it was not yet known how many livestock had drowned.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicUp to 300 mm (30 cm) of rain fell in parts of the Nelson region in 24 hours.

CauseThe persistent rain was pushed into the hills above Nelson and Golden Bay by strong northerly winds.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineSH 60 from Riwaka to Collingwood was closed because of a slip on the Takaka side of Takaka Hill, cutting off Golden Bay. The Takaka Hill and Takaka Valley Roads were closed overnight on the 24th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedThe maximum wind gust was 74 km/hr, recorded between 5pm and 6pm on the 24th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineOn the morning of the 25th there were slips and washouts on some roads, especially in Golden Bay and on the road to St Arnaud. The Long Plain Rd in Golden Bay remained shut during the morning due to a major washout. The Aniseed Valley Rd above the Hackett car park was also closed due to trees across the road.

Damage CostDamage from the floods in the Tasman district would cost about $925,000 to repair, the majority of it being in Golden Bay.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Anatoki Range
Map Location: -40.943354 172.689035
Comments:

Physical Characteristic300 mm (30 cm) of rain fell in the Anatoki high country in 24 hours from 6pm on the 23rd to 6pm on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Brightwater
Map Location: -41.375969 173.093992
Comments:

Affected LifelineSH6 around the Brightwater Bridge was awash on the 24th.

ImpactNeighbouring vineyards were flooded and residents in six houses on Bryants Rd were trapped inside from about 8.30pm as the river came up to the road.

Peak River FlowThe Brightwater River was threatening and peaked around 7pm on the 24th at 1050 cumecs. It was down to 250 cumecs on Tuesday morning.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Golden Bay
Map Location: -40.698766 172.864683
Comments:

ImpactHeavy rain and strong winds forced schools in Golden Bay to close early on the 24th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicOver two days from the 23rd to the 24th, there was more than 200 mm (20 cm) of rain in Golden Bay.

FloodingFlooding at Kaiteriteri
Map Location: -41.039225 173.018605
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere were two dropouts on the Kaiteriteri-Sandy Bay road.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kotinga
Map Location: -40.879202 172.791362
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAt Kotinga, just above Takaka, 200 mm (20 cm) of rain fell in 24 hours from 6pm on the 23rd to 6pm on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Peak River FlowThe Takaka River reached a peak flow of 1500 cumecs at Kotinga bridge.

FloodingFlooding at Lee River
Map Location: -41.492936 173.175585
Comments:

ImpactThree Tasman District Council hydrologists were trapped in the Upper Lee Valley on the night of the 24th when heavy rain made the ford crossings impassable.

FloodingFlooding at Ligar Bay
Map Location: -40.819018 172.905339
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere was a dropout on Abel Tasman Drive, near Ligar Bay.

FloodingFlooding at Maitai Dam
Map Location: -41.294828 173.371483
Comments:

CommentThe Maitai dam had continued to overflow with recent rainfall.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Maitai hills area behind Nelson recorded 123 mm (12.3 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 9pm on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Maori Pa Beach
Map Location: -41.160812 173.45295
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe road to Delaware Bay was cut off with flooding over the causeway at Maori Pa Bridge.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Motueka
Map Location: -41.10406 173.020407
Comments:

DamageSeveral roofs were lifted by gale force winds in Motueka on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Nelson city
Map Location: -41.268476 173.297338
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe city council closed the Maitai Valley Road in Nelson, as river levels continued to rise. Avon Terrace was also closed due to flooding.

ImpactThe Maitai walkway from Collingwood St to Bridge St was closed to pedestrians because of fast flowing water over the footpath in places.

CommentThe Matai River came extremely close to bursting its banks and flooding parts of the city. Sandbags were placed along the river banks and around some properties as a precaution. The river reached the basements of some houses and reached overflow point in other areas.

Peak River FlowThe Maitai River peaked at 1035 cumecs at Avon Tce at about 7.30pm on the 24th.

CommentLarge debris was swept down the Maitai River, with trees and logs from the July windstorm picked up and carried away.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe weather monitoring site in Stoke recorded around 90 mm (9 cm) of rain in 36 hours from the 23rd to the 24th - close to double its monthly average rainfall.

CommentThe heavy rain eased shortly before high tide at 8.30pm on the 24th.

Affected LifelineThe prolonged rainfall on the night of the 24th caused raw sewage to overflow from sewer manholes in five or six areas in Nelson, as a result of stormwater infiltrating the sewer network.

Physical CharacteristicThe hills above Nelson city recorded 136 mm (13.6 cm) of rain.

Physical CharacteristicNelson Airport recorded 59 mm (5.9 cm) of rain on the 24th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Damage CostThe cost of damage to Nelson streets had so far been calculated at $25,000.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Parapara Ridge
Map Location: -40.813246 172.691419
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe ranges between Takaka and Collingwood were lashed by 328 mm (32.8 cm) of rain in the 24 hours to 8pm on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Pelorus River
Map Location: -41.280147 173.71759
Comments:

ImpactBacteria testing of the Pelorus River at Totara Flat showed levels soaring to 20,000 the day after the flooding.

FloodingFlooding at Rai Falls
Map Location: -41.286348 173.574391
Comments:

ImpactBacteria testing of the Rai River at Rai Falls recorded a contamination of 8,900 the day after the flooding.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicRai Falls recorded 266 mm (26.6 cm) of rain in 72 hours.

FloodingFlooding at Riwaka
Map Location: -41.078397 172.990055
Comments:

CommentThere was surface flooding around the Riwaka Valley on the night of the 24th.

ImpactA house in Riwaka was flooded at 8.15pm on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Riwaka River (North Branch)
Map Location: -41.03513 172.901466
Comments:

Peak River FlowThe Riwaka North River flow peaked at about 76 cumecs - the second highest on record, being only 200 m below the 1983 flood level.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Takaka
Map Location: -40.853555 172.80093
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTakaka recorded 128 mm (12.8 cm) of rain on the 23rd.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactTakaka was the worst hit with flooding, with water flowing through the main streets. Water poured down Commercial St and seeped into three low-lying shops. One of the worst-hit buildings was The Dangerous Kitchen, where the water came all the way through the cafe.

Affected LifelineCommercial St was closed to traffic.

CommentIt was described as the worst flood to hit Takaka since 1986. The owner of the Junction Hotel in Takaka said it was the worst she had seen in 25 years.

CommentThe flood peaked at 7.36pm on the 24th in Takaka.

Affected LifelineTakaka was cut off from 4.45pm with both SH60 in the Takaka Valley and Waitapu Bridge towards Collingwood closed by heavy flooding.

LandslideLandslide at Totaranui
Map Location: -40.822208 173.004315
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere were several slips on Totaranui Rd.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Upper Takaka
Map Location: -41.027833 172.823593
Comments:

Physical Characteristic257 mm (25.7 cm) of rain fell above Upper Takaka.

LandslideLandslide at Uruwhenua
Map Location: -40.989111 172.822509
Comments:

EvacueesOne family living at Craigieburn, near Urewhenua, was evacuated on the afternoon of the 24th because of a landslip behind their home. They returned home that night.

FloodingFlooding at Waimea River
Map Location: -41.336776 173.119626
Comments:

CommentThere was surface flooding on areas of the Waimea Plains on the night of the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Whangamoa homestead
Map Location: -41.160947 173.527424
Comments:

ImpactA man was driving along SH6 on the Serpentine straight, about 10km north of Rai Valley, when the car he was driving plunged down an eight-metre bank into the flooded Collins River river and was swept 100 m downstream. After he got out of the car he was swept about another 100 m before managing to reach the bank. The man had been driving in torrential rain before losing control of his car.

West Coast

FloodingFlooding at West Coast
Comments:

CommentDownpours in the central West Coast caused some surface flooding.

Affected LifelineMany roads on the West Coast were partially under water on the morning of the 25th.

Affected LifelineSH 6 between Whataroa and Haast was closed from about 7pm on the 24th until the next morning due to serious surface flooding at Lake Wahapo.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

DamageStrong winds blew down fences and trees.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain
Comments:

ImpactAccess to the glaciers was closed on the morning of the 25th because of the amount of ice melt.

FloodingFlooding at Arahura
Map Location: -42.689576 171.029609
Comments:

ImpactThe access bridge for construction workers at the Arahura Bridge was damaged by the flooding. The roads to the temporary bridge were also destroyed, but were quickly being rebuilt.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Cropp River
Map Location: -43.078492 171.000521
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Cropp River station recorded 991 mm (99.1 cm) of rain in three days from the 23rd to the 25th. This was a a one-in-20- to a one-in-50-year rainfall event.

Peak RainfallThe Cropp River station recorded 588 mm (58.8 cm) of rain on the 24th.

Physical CharacteristicThe Cropp River station recorded 48 mm (4.8 cm) of rain in one hour on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding at Dobson Creek
Map Location: -42.666719 171.256046
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Dobson River, 8 km from Greymouth was at alarm level one early on the 24th and later rose 60 cm over its first warning level to just over 4 m.

FloodingFlooding at Fox Glacier
Map Location: -43.465898 170.01973
Comments:

Affected LifelineAbout 70% of the Fox Glacier access road was washed away when the Fox River burst its banks on the 25th. A 300m stretch of road, including half the causeway and half the car parking area, was gone, leaving no vehicle access to the glacier area, although foot traffic was allowed. There was no access to the actual glacier and all of the Fox Glacier Valley was closed. Four cars were stranded in the carpark. Access to the Fox Glacier was restored by the 4th December.

FloodingFlooding at Garvey Creek
Map Location: -42.16381 171.942948
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere was some surface water on roads at Garvey’s Creek near Reefton.

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

CommentGreymouth had almost as much rain in one day, on the 24th, as it had for all of November 2007.

Physical CharacteristicGreymouth aerodrome recorded 62.8 mm (6.3 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 24th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentThe Grey River reached the first stage alarm level.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentStrong winds threatened some roofs in Greymouth.

FloodingFlooding at Hector
Map Location: -41.606337 171.879661
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere was some surface water on roads around Hector.

FloodingFlooding at Mokihinui
Map Location: -41.524951 171.936199
Comments:

ImpactA Mokihinui dairy farmer said half his paddocks were under water on the 24th.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Mount Hercules
Map Location: -43.167326 170.464956
Comments:

DamageTrees and slips were brought down on Mount Hercules, between Harihari and Whataroa.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Reefton
Map Location: -42.109955 171.867076
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicReefton recorded 90 mm (9.0 cm) of rain on the 24th. This was a November record.

FloodingFlooding at Te Kuha
Map Location: -41.828109 171.657862
Comments:

Peak River LevelTorrential rain on the 24th pushed the Buller River at Te Kuha to 8.3 m at high tide at around 9pm that night - 90 cm above its stage one flood warning level.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Westport
Map Location: -41.750212 171.582563
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBy lunchtime on the 24th, 238.2 mm (23.8 cm) of rain had fallen in Westport during the month of November - over five times as much rain as for the whole of November the year before.

Canterbury

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Canterbury
Comments:

CommentFerocious northwest winds hammered North Canterbury around midday on the 25th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Arthur's Pass village
Map Location: -42.943869 171.566812
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicArthur’s Pass received well over 300 mm (30 cm) of rain on the 24th.

Physical CharacteristicAt 6am on the 25th, 30 mm (3 cm) of rain an hour was still falling.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Culverden
Map Location: -42.776384 172.855107
Comments:

DamageExtreme winds brought down trees and power lines near Culverden.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Hanmer Springs
Map Location: -42.525185 172.834432
Comments:

DamageExtreme winds brought down trees and power lines near Hanmer.

DamageRoofing iron was ripped from the roof of Scarborough Lodge and blown across the street, causing damage to cars.

Physical CharacteristicGusts of more than 130 km/hr roared across the town.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Hundalee
Map Location: -42.597961 173.420325
Comments:

Affected LifelineExtreme winds brought down trees and power lines on SH1 around the Hundalees.

Otago

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Otago
Comments:

CommentTwo days of heavy rain across the Upper Clutha caused lake levels to rise.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Lake Hawea
Map Location: -44.61261 169.265967
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicLake Hawea reached 342.64 m at 2pm on the 26th, up more than half a metre in the past two days.

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

Physical CharacteristicLake Wakatipu was 40cm away from reaching its first flood level at 2pm on the 26th, at a height of 310.40 m.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Wanaka
Map Location: -44.706574 169.12357
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicLake Wanaka was at 278.50m above sea level at 2pm on the 26th - a rise of more than a metre since the 24th.

References

Headline: Wild weather creates chaos in upper South Island.
3news.co.nz, Source: RadioLIVE, 24 November 2008, 9:50pm.
Headline: Flooded Nelson residents start the long clean-up.
3news.co.nz, Source: 3 News and NZPA, 24 November 2008, 10:41pm.
Headline: Coast mops up after deluge.
www.greystar.co.nz, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Glacier access road washed away.
www.greystar.co.nz, 26 November 2008.
Headline: Fox Glacier washout strands cars.
www.greystar.co.nz, 27 November 2008.
Headline: Arahura River damage no problem.
www.greystar.co.nz, 27 November 2008.
Headline: Fox Glacier road access restored.
www.greystar.co.nz, 4 December 2008.
Meteorological Society of New Zealand (Inc.). (2008). Climate summary for spring 2008. Newsletter 115, December 2008. 12-22
Headline: November rain five times last year’s.
The News, 24 November 2008.
Headline: Torrential rain swells Coast rivers.
The News, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Heavy rain moves in.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 23 November 2008, 1:20pm.
Headline: Schools closed by weather in Golden Bay.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 24 November 2008, 2:40pm.
Headline: Further rain forecast for tonight.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 24 November 2008, 3:08pm.
Headline: Nelson gets a dousing.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 25 November 2008, 9:20am.
Headline: Heavy rain and wind strike today.
www.nzherald.co.nz, 24 November 2008, 4:00am.
Headline: Motorists warned after storm leaves South Island roads treacherous.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA and Newstalk ZB, 25 November 2008, 11:41am.
Headline: Wild weather starts to ease.
www.odt.co.nz, 25 November 2008, 2:32pm.
Headline: Lakes approach flood alert levels.
www.odt.co.nz, 27 November 2008, 5:00am.
Headline: Stormy weather bringing downpours, strong winds.
www.radionz.co.nz, 24 November 2008, 3:59pm.
Headline: Chilly weather follows summer storms.
www.radionz.co.nz, 25 November 2008, 8:12am.
Headline: Heavy rain, high winds to lash country.
www.stuff.co.nz, 24 November 2008.
Headline: Another spring blast of wind and rain.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Dominion Post, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Rain causes havoc.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Marlborough Express, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Floods won't keep boy from mum.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Marlborough Express, 26 November 2008.
Headline: Swimmers warned to avoid rivers.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Marlborough Express, 17 December 2008.
Headline: Rising waters spark emergency alert.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 24 November 2008.
Headline: Driver swims away.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Takaka hit by worst flooding in 20 years.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Flood an opportunity to test new emergency plan.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 26 November 2008.
Headline: Tasman flood damage tops $900,000.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 28 November 2008.
Headline: Opening the floodgates of opinion.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Nelson Mail, 13 December 2008.
Headline: West Coast soaked as Canterbury fries.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Press, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Nelson man carried 100m in raging torrent.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Press, 26 November 2008.
Headline: Floods, high winds cause damage in south.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Fairfax Media in The Press, 25 November 2008.
Headline: Rain lashes the upper South Island.
tvnz.co.nz, Source: ONE News, 24 November 2008, 7:40pm.
Headline: Weather keeps services busy.
tvnz.co.nz, Source: ONE News, 25 November 2008, 6:43am.
Headline: Flood cuts Fox Glacier access road.
tvnz.co.nz, Source: ONE News, 27 November 2008, 7:48pm.
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