NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

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SevereOctober 1998 Western New Zealand Flooding ( 1998-10-27 )

10-75 years

This storm followed the 18-21 October storm and affected the same areas. The ground was still sodden and prone to flooding resulting in hundreds of evacuations and Civil Defence emaergencies along the west coast of New Zealand. There was one casualty due to the event in the Wellington region.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   4  days - From the 27th to the 30th of October, there was widespread heavy rainfall and extensive flooding in the west from Milford Sound to Buller, Kapiti, Hutt Valley and the west of the North Island as far north as King Country.
Comments:

ImpactThe storm followed the 18-21 October storm and affected the same areas. The ground was still sodden and prone to flooding.

CauseThere was an active trough in the Tasman Sea and a small low leading the trough moved southeast over the Tasman to cross southern districts. A warm front associated with this low brought heavy rain to South Island's West Coast and tightened up the pressure gradient over central New Zealand, causing wind damage in Wellington. The slow leading front and depression over central New Zealand caused prolonged rain in areas exposed to the strong northwesterly.

Insurance PaymentThe whole event cost $2,000,000 ($2,630,000 2009 dollars) in insurance payouts.

Waikato

FloodingFlooding at Waikato
Comments:

Affected LifelineParts of State Highway 1 between Taupo and Turangi were closed due to flooding.

LandslideLandslide at Awakino Gorge
Map Location: -38.665063 174.716871
Comments:

ImpactIt was estimated that 20 tonnes of earth crashed down in the Awakino Gorge.

Affected LifelineState Highway 3 was closed with at least four major slips to be cleared in the Awakino Gorge.

Taranaki

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Taranaki
Comments:

CommentThere was heavy rain in the Taranaki region.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineTaranaki was cut off from all points north.

Affected LifelineRoads were closed by slips and floods including State Highway 3, north of New Plymouth. State Highway 3 was closed from Urenui northwards due to surface flooding at Ahititi and Uruti Valley.

Affected LifelineState Highway 43 was closed between Tahora and Tatu Junction. Stat Highway 40 and River Road was closed.

Affected LifelineThere was flooding at Bailey Bridge.

Affected LifelineState Highway 4 was closed between Te Kuiti and Taumarunui.

FloodingFlooding at Ahititi
Map Location: -38.86025 174.60193
Comments:

ImpactHouses were flooded by the Tongaporutu River.

ImpactA number of vehicles were under water.

CommentFlooding in Ahititi district was described as the worst in 35 years.

FloodingFlooding at Mount Messenger
Map Location: -38.89383 174.59454
Comments:

Affected LifelineOn State Highway 3, around 100 m north of the summit of Mt Messenger, a stretch of the road had sunk in middle, and cracks had spread over three quarters of the road.

FloodingFlooding at Waiwhakaiho River
Map Location: -39.202437 174.127733
Comments:

CommentWaiwhakaiho River reached a very high peak. It was the highest since 1990.

Manawatu-Wanganui

FloodingFlooding at Manawatu-Wanganui
Comments:

CommentAbout 700 people from the emergency services were involved in the state of emergency.

Evacuees36 people from 22 homes in Waikanae and Otaihanga were evacuated.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Levin
Map Location: -40.620178 175.288608
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicLevin recorded 59 mm (5.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding at Ohura
Map Location: -38.84055 174.98159
Comments:

ImpactThe area within the Ruapehu District, around Ohura, experienced extensive and severe flooding.

ImpactThree hours after the major rain event, severe flooding was experienced in the township of Ohura.

Property DamageThere were 27 uninhabitiable properties in Ohura. The residents were forced to relocate to safer, less flood prone locations.

CommentOhura was devastated by the floods.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared at 12:30pm on the 30th of October to 9:15am on the 4th of November.

Property Damage18 houses were severely affected and identified as uninhabitable.

Physical CharacteristicSilt laden water flooded through the township inundating properties to a height of up to 1.2 m.

ImpactThe surrounding hill country was severely impacted with slips, loss of productive soil, damage to roads, bridges, tracks, culverts and other infrastructure.

ImpactAll sections in Ohura were serviced by septic tanks, so all silt was potentially contaminated with sewage.

ImpactSeven vacant houses and four commercial properties were identified as a health risk.

Affected LifelineUp to 60 rural families became isolated by damage to roads for up to three weeks. This caused inaccessibility to stock, inablility to transport stock from farms and the isolation from essential services.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

ImpactIn the hill country there was a large number slips.

FloodingFlooding at Waitaanga
Map Location: -38.83162 174.83797
Comments:

Affected LifelineA couple were stranded in their car and had to be airlfited from Waitaanga.

FloodingFlooding at Wanganui
Map Location: -39.932232 175.028352
Comments:

Declared EmergencyThere was a Civil Defence Emergency declared at 6:30am on the 29th to 2:00pm on the 30th when the Whanganui River threatened to flood homes.

Impact62 residential properties and 45 commercial premises were threatened by possible overtopping of the stopbanks of the Whanganui River.

CommentThe river exceeded the height of the 18-21 October storm and reached an 8-year peak.

EvacueesThere were 150 people evacuated from 60 homes along Anzac Parade.

ImpactSome commercial premises and homes were flooded.

CommentWhanganui River overflowed its banks. The stopbanks were breached at Anzac Parade, at Boydfield Street and Kowhai Park.

ImpactEvacuees were not allowed to return to their homes until the emergency status had been lifted.

CommentFlooding did not reach 1990 levels.

Affected LifelineAnzac Parade was closed to traffic.

Impact60 soldiers acted as security for the evacuated homes overnight.

ImpactWater rose higher than the 1990 flood levels at the Aramoho Holiday Park, flooding the lower camping area and motel units.

Affected LifelineFloodwaters swamped the Aramoho sewage pump station and sewage flowed into the river.

Wellington

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Wellington
Comments:

DamageNortherly gales lifted roofs and blew in windows.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

CommentTorrential rain was associated with the gale force winds.

Affected LifelineThe trains to the Kapiti Coast were delayed.

Affected LifelineState Highway 1 was closed at Pukerua Bay, McKays Crossing and Otaki.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

CommentSlips were widespread.

FloodingFlooding at Akatarawa River
Map Location: -41.04663 175.11649
Comments:

CommentAkatarawa River, north of Upper Hutt. was in its highest level in 75 years.

Affected LifelineA service bridge carrying sewer, gas, water and telephone lines was washed away.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Angle Knob
Map Location: -40.842802 175.416051
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAngle Knob recorded 50.0 mm (50.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Hataitai
Map Location: -41.301742 174.797423
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicHataitai recorded 40 mm (4.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding at Horowhenua District
Comments:

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared at 8:00am on the 28th in Horowhenua after the Waikanae River broke its banks.

ImpactHomes and properties were flooded.

Evacuees40-60 people were evacuated from the Kapiti and Horowhenua districts.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Island Bay
Map Location: -41.339121 174.767971
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicIsland Bay recorded 49 mm (4.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Johnsonville
Map Location: -41.222057 174.79585
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicJohnsonville recorded 54 mm (5.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kaitoke
Map Location: -41.082824 175.168242
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaitoke recorded 166 mm (16.6 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicKaitoke recorded 204 mm (20.4 cm) of rain in 48 hours.

FloodingFlooding at Kapiti Coast District
Comments:

CommentIt was the second deluge in a week.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared at 8:00am on the 28th to 7:30pm on the 30th after the Waikanae River broke its banks.

CasualtiesA 56 year old man was swept to his death by the raging Waikanae River after the bank collapsed underneath him on the 28th.

ImpactKapiti was isolated.

ImpactSome schools were closed.

ImpactTwo Sunny Glen homes bordering the Waikanae River remained unoccupied for a week.

ImpactHomes and properties were flooded.

CommentMany rivers were in flood and the Waikanae River breached its bank.

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

Physical CharacteristicLower Hutt recorded 66 mm (6.6 cm) of rain in three hours ending at 7:00am on the 28th.

Physical CharacteristicLower Hutt recorded 59 mm (5.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineTorrential rain swelled the Hutt River, swamping an electrical substation.

Damage CostThe repairs to the flood control system cost an estimated $500,000.

ImpactHutt Valley was hit by a serious floods and slips with roads, parks and golf course inundated. A number of properties were flooded, homes and schools were evacuated.

ImpactThe flooded Hutt River swept large numbers of logs and trees into the harbour.

ImpactHutt River burst its banks and reached a ten year high, swamping low lying areas. The Lower Hutt River was in its highest level since the flood of 1939 (26 year return period).

FloodingFlooding at Otaki
Map Location: -40.750818 175.14738
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 1 was closed north of Otaki after a section of the Waitohu Bridge was washed out.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Paekakariki
Map Location: -40.982766 174.944483
Comments:

ImpactShops were flooded.

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

Physical CharacteristicParaparaumu recorded 58 mm (5.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

LandslideLandslide at Pukerua Bay
Map Location: -41.033011 174.874585
Comments:

Affected LifelineA slip blocked State Highway 1 at Pukerua.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tararua Range
Map Location: -40.781389 175.380053
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTararuas recorded 500 mm (50.0 cm) of rain.

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

Physical CharacteristicUpper Hutt recorded 47 mm (4.7 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding at Waikanae
Map Location: -40.866454 175.054994
Comments:

Evacuees36 people from 22 homes in Waikanae and Otaihanga were evacuated and two were flooded.

ImpactHectares of farmland beween Waikanae and Otaki were inundated.

ImpactFarmhouses were isolated by floodwater.

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

Physical CharacteristicWainuiomata recorded 43 mm (4.3 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding at Wairarapa
Comments:

ImpactParts of the Wairarapa were flooded.

Affected LifelineThere were road closures in the Wairarapa.

DamageThe previously weakened stopbanks were damaged.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Wellington International Airport
Map Location: -41.329538 174.805351
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedPeak wind speeds at Wellington Airport reached 117 km/hr.

Affected LifelineFlights out of Wellington were delayed.

Tasman-Nelson

FloodingFlooding at Tasman-Nelson
Comments:

CommentThe rivers in the Motueka area swelled significantly on the 28th.

Affected LifelineWangapeka River Road , Barton Valley Road, Glenroy Road and Matakitaki Road were either closed or reduced to one lane.

FloodingFlooding at Aorere River
Map Location: -40.77281 172.57047
Comments:

CommentAorere River was rising steadily on the morning of the 28th.

Physical CharacteristicAorere River level was at 7.3 m on the 28th.

FloodingFlooding at Buller River
Map Location: -41.70702 172.42574
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Upper Buller River level reached 6.2 m on the 28th, which was the highest level since records began 1962.

FloodingFlooding at Collingwood
Map Location: -40.67771 172.684352
Comments:

ImpactCollingwood Area school was closed.

FloodingFlooding at Ferntown
Map Location: -40.66611 172.65038
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe road from Collingwood to Pakawau at Ferntown was closed.

FloodingFlooding at Murchison
Map Location: -41.804373 172.328619
Comments:

ImpactMuch of the Murchison Golf Course on the banks of the Buller River was underwater.

CommentRain caused the five nearby rivers and their tributaries to flood.

Peak DischargeBuller River peaked at 1328 cumecs at Murchison. The river normally ran at approximately 250-300 cumecs.

FloodingFlooding at Rockville
Map Location: -40.72848 172.62662
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe road was flooded in places at Rockville.

Marlborough

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Pelorus Sound
Map Location: -41.13129 173.87356
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPelorus Sound recorded 167 mm (16.7 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

West Coast

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

Physical CharacteristicWestport recorded 71.2 mm (7.12 cm) of rain in 17 hours to 11am on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding at Buller District
Comments:

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared at 4:30pm on the 27th to 1:55pm on the 28th. The declaration was for the north of Westport to Karamea which was the worst affected area.

EvacueesProperties were evacuated as rivers flooded. 220 people were evacuated including 12 at Seddonville, 1 at Mohikinui, 4 at Karamea and 3 at Waimare. The evacuations were a precautioning measure in case of worsening flooding.

ImpactFront lawns were flooded.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineNumerous slips closed roads.

FloodingFlooding at Karamea River
Map Location: -41.249392 172.271797
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaramea River was rising at a rate of 600 mm (60.0 cm) an hour, which dropped down to a rate of 363 mm (36.3 cm) an hour.

FloodingFlooding at Mohikinui
Map Location: -41.524951 171.936199
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 67 from Westport to Karamea was closed on 27th at Mohikinui.

References

Civil Defence Declarations Since 1 January 1963, Declared Civil Defence Emergencies, 31 December 1999
Headline: Civil Defence Declarations since 1 January 1963.
Declared Civil Defence Emergencies,
Major weather events in New Zealand, FLOODS and HIGH RAINFALL to 31st May 2006
Major weather events in New Zealand, FLOODS AND HIGH RAINFALL, FLOODS to 30 Sep 2005
Meteorological Society of New Zealand (Inc.) Newsletter 75, December 1998.
Ohura Flood Event: October 1998 Response and Recovery, Extracted from O'Kane , K. 2001, Evaluating Disaster Assitance
Saunders, W.(2000) Planning and Resources, Hazard and Emergency Management Section, WAIRARAPA DIVISION, Wairarapa Storm Events 1880 - 1998, Technical Report No. 00/17
Headline: West Coasters advised to evacuate their homes.
The Daily News, 28 October 1998.
Headline: Roads chaos worsens as floodwaters rise.
The Daily News, 29 October 1998.
Headline: New falls add to road.
The Daily News, 30 October 1998.
Headline: Down, down, down it comes.
The Evening Post, October 28 1998.
Headline: Emergency declared in Buller.
The Evening Post, October 28 1998.
Headline: Floods keep Collingwood school closed.
The Nelson Mail, 28 October 1998.
Headline: Emergency.
The Nelson Mail, 29 October 1998.
Headline: Student kayakers play around on water course.
The Nelson Mail, 29 October 1998.
Headline: Flooding sends flok packing.
The Wanganui Chronicle, 30 Cotober 1998.
Headline: Level rose higher than 1990 big one.
The Wanganui Chronicle, 30 Cotober 1998.
www.metservice, notable weather events.govt.nz

SevereOctober 1998 Western New Zealand Flooding ( 1998-10-27 )

10-75 years

This storm followed the 18-21 October storm and affected the same areas. The ground was still sodden and prone to flooding resulting in hundreds of evacuations and Civil Defence emaergencies along the west coast of New Zealand. There was one casualty due to the event in the Wellington region.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at New Zealand
Duration:   4  days - From the 27th to the 30th of October, there was widespread heavy rainfall and extensive flooding in the west from Milford Sound to Buller, Kapiti, Hutt Valley and the west of the North Island as far north as King Country.
Comments:

ImpactThe storm followed the 18-21 October storm and affected the same areas. The ground was still sodden and prone to flooding.

CauseThere was an active trough in the Tasman Sea and a small low leading the trough moved southeast over the Tasman to cross southern districts. A warm front associated with this low brought heavy rain to South Island's West Coast and tightened up the pressure gradient over central New Zealand, causing wind damage in Wellington. The slow leading front and depression over central New Zealand caused prolonged rain in areas exposed to the strong northwesterly.

Insurance PaymentThe whole event cost $2,000,000 ($2,630,000 2009 dollars) in insurance payouts.

Waikato

FloodingFlooding at Waikato
Comments:

Affected LifelineParts of State Highway 1 between Taupo and Turangi were closed due to flooding.

LandslideLandslide at Awakino Gorge
Map Location: -38.665063 174.716871
Comments:

ImpactIt was estimated that 20 tonnes of earth crashed down in the Awakino Gorge.

Affected LifelineState Highway 3 was closed with at least four major slips to be cleared in the Awakino Gorge.

Taranaki

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Taranaki
Comments:

CommentThere was heavy rain in the Taranaki region.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineTaranaki was cut off from all points north.

Affected LifelineRoads were closed by slips and floods including State Highway 3, north of New Plymouth. State Highway 3 was closed from Urenui northwards due to surface flooding at Ahititi and Uruti Valley.

Affected LifelineState Highway 43 was closed between Tahora and Tatu Junction. Stat Highway 40 and River Road was closed.

Affected LifelineThere was flooding at Bailey Bridge.

Affected LifelineState Highway 4 was closed between Te Kuiti and Taumarunui.

FloodingFlooding at Ahititi
Map Location: -38.86025 174.60193
Comments:

ImpactHouses were flooded by the Tongaporutu River.

ImpactA number of vehicles were under water.

CommentFlooding in Ahititi district was described as the worst in 35 years.

FloodingFlooding at Mount Messenger
Map Location: -38.89383 174.59454
Comments:

Affected LifelineOn State Highway 3, around 100 m north of the summit of Mt Messenger, a stretch of the road had sunk in middle, and cracks had spread over three quarters of the road.

FloodingFlooding at Waiwhakaiho River
Map Location: -39.202437 174.127733
Comments:

CommentWaiwhakaiho River reached a very high peak. It was the highest since 1990.

Manawatu-Wanganui

FloodingFlooding at Manawatu-Wanganui
Comments:

CommentAbout 700 people from the emergency services were involved in the state of emergency.

Evacuees36 people from 22 homes in Waikanae and Otaihanga were evacuated.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Levin
Map Location: -40.620178 175.288608
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicLevin recorded 59 mm (5.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding at Ohura
Map Location: -38.84055 174.98159
Comments:

ImpactThe area within the Ruapehu District, around Ohura, experienced extensive and severe flooding.

ImpactThree hours after the major rain event, severe flooding was experienced in the township of Ohura.

Property DamageThere were 27 uninhabitiable properties in Ohura. The residents were forced to relocate to safer, less flood prone locations.

CommentOhura was devastated by the floods.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared at 12:30pm on the 30th of October to 9:15am on the 4th of November.

Property Damage18 houses were severely affected and identified as uninhabitable.

Physical CharacteristicSilt laden water flooded through the township inundating properties to a height of up to 1.2 m.

ImpactThe surrounding hill country was severely impacted with slips, loss of productive soil, damage to roads, bridges, tracks, culverts and other infrastructure.

ImpactAll sections in Ohura were serviced by septic tanks, so all silt was potentially contaminated with sewage.

ImpactSeven vacant houses and four commercial properties were identified as a health risk.

Affected LifelineUp to 60 rural families became isolated by damage to roads for up to three weeks. This caused inaccessibility to stock, inablility to transport stock from farms and the isolation from essential services.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

ImpactIn the hill country there was a large number slips.

FloodingFlooding at Waitaanga
Map Location: -38.83162 174.83797
Comments:

Affected LifelineA couple were stranded in their car and had to be airlfited from Waitaanga.

FloodingFlooding at Wanganui
Map Location: -39.932232 175.028352
Comments:

Declared EmergencyThere was a Civil Defence Emergency declared at 6:30am on the 29th to 2:00pm on the 30th when the Whanganui River threatened to flood homes.

Impact62 residential properties and 45 commercial premises were threatened by possible overtopping of the stopbanks of the Whanganui River.

CommentThe river exceeded the height of the 18-21 October storm and reached an 8-year peak.

EvacueesThere were 150 people evacuated from 60 homes along Anzac Parade.

ImpactSome commercial premises and homes were flooded.

CommentWhanganui River overflowed its banks. The stopbanks were breached at Anzac Parade, at Boydfield Street and Kowhai Park.

ImpactEvacuees were not allowed to return to their homes until the emergency status had been lifted.

CommentFlooding did not reach 1990 levels.

Affected LifelineAnzac Parade was closed to traffic.

Impact60 soldiers acted as security for the evacuated homes overnight.

ImpactWater rose higher than the 1990 flood levels at the Aramoho Holiday Park, flooding the lower camping area and motel units.

Affected LifelineFloodwaters swamped the Aramoho sewage pump station and sewage flowed into the river.

Wellington

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Wellington
Comments:

DamageNortherly gales lifted roofs and blew in windows.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

CommentTorrential rain was associated with the gale force winds.

Affected LifelineThe trains to the Kapiti Coast were delayed.

Affected LifelineState Highway 1 was closed at Pukerua Bay, McKays Crossing and Otaki.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

CommentSlips were widespread.

FloodingFlooding at Akatarawa River
Map Location: -41.04663 175.11649
Comments:

CommentAkatarawa River, north of Upper Hutt. was in its highest level in 75 years.

Affected LifelineA service bridge carrying sewer, gas, water and telephone lines was washed away.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Angle Knob
Map Location: -40.842802 175.416051
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAngle Knob recorded 50.0 mm (50.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Hataitai
Map Location: -41.301742 174.797423
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicHataitai recorded 40 mm (4.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding at Horowhenua District
Comments:

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared at 8:00am on the 28th in Horowhenua after the Waikanae River broke its banks.

ImpactHomes and properties were flooded.

Evacuees40-60 people were evacuated from the Kapiti and Horowhenua districts.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Island Bay
Map Location: -41.339121 174.767971
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicIsland Bay recorded 49 mm (4.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Johnsonville
Map Location: -41.222057 174.79585
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicJohnsonville recorded 54 mm (5.4 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kaitoke
Map Location: -41.082824 175.168242
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaitoke recorded 166 mm (16.6 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicKaitoke recorded 204 mm (20.4 cm) of rain in 48 hours.

FloodingFlooding at Kapiti Coast District
Comments:

CommentIt was the second deluge in a week.

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared at 8:00am on the 28th to 7:30pm on the 30th after the Waikanae River broke its banks.

CasualtiesA 56 year old man was swept to his death by the raging Waikanae River after the bank collapsed underneath him on the 28th.

ImpactKapiti was isolated.

ImpactSome schools were closed.

ImpactTwo Sunny Glen homes bordering the Waikanae River remained unoccupied for a week.

ImpactHomes and properties were flooded.

CommentMany rivers were in flood and the Waikanae River breached its bank.

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

Physical CharacteristicLower Hutt recorded 66 mm (6.6 cm) of rain in three hours ending at 7:00am on the 28th.

Physical CharacteristicLower Hutt recorded 59 mm (5.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

Affected LifelineTorrential rain swelled the Hutt River, swamping an electrical substation.

Damage CostThe repairs to the flood control system cost an estimated $500,000.

ImpactHutt Valley was hit by a serious floods and slips with roads, parks and golf course inundated. A number of properties were flooded, homes and schools were evacuated.

ImpactThe flooded Hutt River swept large numbers of logs and trees into the harbour.

ImpactHutt River burst its banks and reached a ten year high, swamping low lying areas. The Lower Hutt River was in its highest level since the flood of 1939 (26 year return period).

FloodingFlooding at Otaki
Map Location: -40.750818 175.14738
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 1 was closed north of Otaki after a section of the Waitohu Bridge was washed out.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Paekakariki
Map Location: -40.982766 174.944483
Comments:

ImpactShops were flooded.

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

Physical CharacteristicParaparaumu recorded 58 mm (5.8 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

LandslideLandslide at Pukerua Bay
Map Location: -41.033011 174.874585
Comments:

Affected LifelineA slip blocked State Highway 1 at Pukerua.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Tararua Range
Map Location: -40.781389 175.380053
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTararuas recorded 500 mm (50.0 cm) of rain.

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

Physical CharacteristicUpper Hutt recorded 47 mm (4.7 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding at Waikanae
Map Location: -40.866454 175.054994
Comments:

Evacuees36 people from 22 homes in Waikanae and Otaihanga were evacuated and two were flooded.

ImpactHectares of farmland beween Waikanae and Otaki were inundated.

ImpactFarmhouses were isolated by floodwater.

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

Physical CharacteristicWainuiomata recorded 43 mm (4.3 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding at Wairarapa
Comments:

ImpactParts of the Wairarapa were flooded.

Affected LifelineThere were road closures in the Wairarapa.

DamageThe previously weakened stopbanks were damaged.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Wellington International Airport
Map Location: -41.329538 174.805351
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedPeak wind speeds at Wellington Airport reached 117 km/hr.

Affected LifelineFlights out of Wellington were delayed.

Tasman-Nelson

FloodingFlooding at Tasman-Nelson
Comments:

CommentThe rivers in the Motueka area swelled significantly on the 28th.

Affected LifelineWangapeka River Road , Barton Valley Road, Glenroy Road and Matakitaki Road were either closed or reduced to one lane.

FloodingFlooding at Aorere River
Map Location: -40.77281 172.57047
Comments:

CommentAorere River was rising steadily on the morning of the 28th.

Physical CharacteristicAorere River level was at 7.3 m on the 28th.

FloodingFlooding at Buller River
Map Location: -41.70702 172.42574
Comments:

Peak River LevelThe Upper Buller River level reached 6.2 m on the 28th, which was the highest level since records began 1962.

FloodingFlooding at Collingwood
Map Location: -40.67771 172.684352
Comments:

ImpactCollingwood Area school was closed.

FloodingFlooding at Ferntown
Map Location: -40.66611 172.65038
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe road from Collingwood to Pakawau at Ferntown was closed.

FloodingFlooding at Murchison
Map Location: -41.804373 172.328619
Comments:

ImpactMuch of the Murchison Golf Course on the banks of the Buller River was underwater.

CommentRain caused the five nearby rivers and their tributaries to flood.

Peak DischargeBuller River peaked at 1328 cumecs at Murchison. The river normally ran at approximately 250-300 cumecs.

FloodingFlooding at Rockville
Map Location: -40.72848 172.62662
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe road was flooded in places at Rockville.

Marlborough

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Pelorus Sound
Map Location: -41.13129 173.87356
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPelorus Sound recorded 167 mm (16.7 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 27th.

West Coast

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

Physical CharacteristicWestport recorded 71.2 mm (7.12 cm) of rain in 17 hours to 11am on the 27th.

FloodingFlooding at Buller District
Comments:

Declared EmergencyA Civil Defence Emergency was declared at 4:30pm on the 27th to 1:55pm on the 28th. The declaration was for the north of Westport to Karamea which was the worst affected area.

EvacueesProperties were evacuated as rivers flooded. 220 people were evacuated including 12 at Seddonville, 1 at Mohikinui, 4 at Karamea and 3 at Waimare. The evacuations were a precautioning measure in case of worsening flooding.

ImpactFront lawns were flooded.

LandslideLandslide
Comments:

Affected LifelineNumerous slips closed roads.

FloodingFlooding at Karamea River
Map Location: -41.249392 172.271797
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaramea River was rising at a rate of 600 mm (60.0 cm) an hour, which dropped down to a rate of 363 mm (36.3 cm) an hour.

FloodingFlooding at Mohikinui
Map Location: -41.524951 171.936199
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 67 from Westport to Karamea was closed on 27th at Mohikinui.

References

Civil Defence Declarations Since 1 January 1963, Declared Civil Defence Emergencies, 31 December 1999
Headline: Civil Defence Declarations since 1 January 1963.
Declared Civil Defence Emergencies,
Major weather events in New Zealand, FLOODS and HIGH RAINFALL to 31st May 2006
Major weather events in New Zealand, FLOODS AND HIGH RAINFALL, FLOODS to 30 Sep 2005
Meteorological Society of New Zealand (Inc.) Newsletter 75, December 1998.
Ohura Flood Event: October 1998 Response and Recovery, Extracted from O'Kane , K. 2001, Evaluating Disaster Assitance
Saunders, W.(2000) Planning and Resources, Hazard and Emergency Management Section, WAIRARAPA DIVISION, Wairarapa Storm Events 1880 - 1998, Technical Report No. 00/17
Headline: West Coasters advised to evacuate their homes.
The Daily News, 28 October 1998.
Headline: Roads chaos worsens as floodwaters rise.
The Daily News, 29 October 1998.
Headline: New falls add to road.
The Daily News, 30 October 1998.
Headline: Down, down, down it comes.
The Evening Post, October 28 1998.
Headline: Emergency declared in Buller.
The Evening Post, October 28 1998.
Headline: Floods keep Collingwood school closed.
The Nelson Mail, 28 October 1998.
Headline: Emergency.
The Nelson Mail, 29 October 1998.
Headline: Student kayakers play around on water course.
The Nelson Mail, 29 October 1998.
Headline: Flooding sends flok packing.
The Wanganui Chronicle, 30 Cotober 1998.
Headline: Level rose higher than 1990 big one.
The Wanganui Chronicle, 30 Cotober 1998.
www.metservice, notable weather events.govt.nz