Flood!

001It rained yesterday. A lot. We are accustomed to heavy rain here and are blessed with very free draining soils. The dogs hate the rain and won’t go out until it is near emergency time for them. But the rain, it continued. Mark lost track of the rain gauge around 200ml during the day.
002OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADown in our park is the lowest area of our property but over the years, we had eliminated flooding with a weir, flood channel and stop banks. Until yesterday. That is what we refer to as the high bridge in the very centre behind the magnolia – featured often in photographs. It is a low grade phone camera image because I was not going to risk my new camera in the torrential rain. The water is flowing right over the bridge.

004

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn fact the better part of park was flooded and resembled a raging torrent. It is usually such a quiet little stream that flows through. Half of it is channelled through the garden as here, and half is diverted down the separate flood channel. It all became one yesterday.

006When we made our way out to the road, we saw why our park was flooding. This is the corner where the stream enters our property.
006 (2)And the scene to the right of the intersection which is also our place.
007 (2)But nothing must stop the petrochemical traffic (though we notice it has stopped today so the road damage must be a concern). This massive LNG tanker ploughed blindly through without checking that there was still road beneath, which was a bit of a surprise to us.
008The ute that tried it next was not so lucky. He hit the water too fast and stalled. Fortunately help was to hand for towing him out because the water was flowing through his vehicle and the current could well have swept it away.
016There is a lesson on negotiating flood waters, even in the big 4 wheel drive offroad vehicles much favoured today. We noticed a Jeep Cherokee in our carpark, but didn’t find out until later in the day that it too had stalled in the water. The occupants had to escape through a window because the water was up the doors. It was towed to the closest safe place, which was ours. We joked about claiming salvage rights over it but he arrived today to try and start it. It didn’t. Start, I mean, so it is still parked there.
003The shocker was this car. It is just around the corner to the right, out of view to those of us on the other road. The occupants were our elderly neighbours who had to be rescued out of the car window. They were very shocked, but not otherwise injured. With hindsight, we worry how close they came to drowning and none of us on the other road would even have known they were there, a few metres out of sight.
021This morning, the waters were receding. It is messy but we have not yet found any major damage on our place. Others have not been as lucky. It is perhaps a timely warning about the power of Nature and the increasing frequency of what are referred to as “extreme weather events. And always live in a house on a hill, not on a flood plain.
027Where Mark and dogs are standing was half a metre under water at this time yesterday.

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11 thoughts on “Flood!

  1. Philippa

    Hi Abbie, I was going to phone you and come out to see you yesterday!! Boy I picked the wrong weekend didn’t I. Luckily I arrived on Thursday night and spent Friday in town enjoying horizontal rain. I won’t have time to see you this time now unfortunately. Wow that was bad flooding. I’m so glad your neighbors are ok, they must have been petrified! At least the water is receding quickly. Hugs with smiles, Philippa

  2. craig

    The volume of water is incredible. Where exactly are you located that you get a deluge like that?

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      West coast, midway between Auckland and Wellington where the North Island of NZ juts out into the Tasman Sea. But the rains hit over a wide area – all the way from us south to Wellington which is most unusual.

  3. Jeremy Budd

    Envious of your rainfall generally! (from a Kiwi trying to garden in NE London on 550mm rain a year). We had 8mm yesterday, which is an OK rainfall here and the first > 5mm in over a month. We have long days at the moment (18hrs daylight), but unfortunately growth potential is not realised with the low rainfall.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      It always amazes us how low the rainfall is on that stretch of eastern England from Norfolk south. We could quite happily spare you some of our recent rain. but generally we get about 150cm distributed reasonably evenly throughout the year, which is a healthy amount for gardening. We never have to irrigate and only ever water the vegetables, container plants and, occasionally, recently planted material.

  4. Jane Phillips

    We are in Invercargill and today it’s chilly – minus 2 and I hear Pukaki registered -22. It was alarming to hear about the rainfall experienced over the weekend, and very interesting to see your flood pictures.
    I am curious about your new camera – what sort did you purchase?

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      Brrr. That is very cold! I shall stop complaining about how cold it is here. The flooding is clearly hugely worse in the Whanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu and South Taranaki areas. I do not know of such widespread flooding before – that is a big area that has been so badly affected.
      My new camera? I like the way Canon handles so I stuck with that brand and bought an SX60 HS. It is much larger than my former compact camera but I am already appreciating the much improved zoom and it also does excellent macro. The reason I particularly chose this camera is that it has a full swivel screen and that is great for photographing plants. One does not have to lie prone on the ground to get a ground level view – I can hold the camera down and swivel the screen so I can see the image. There were not many cameras in this range with a full side-mounted swivel screen (as opposed to the top-hinged “selfie” screen capacity which is of no value to me at all). I love it.

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