Our capital city certainly lived up to its name yesterday. All day long we were battered with gale force winds and torrential rain. A friend commented that it was as bad as the day in which The Wahine foundered on Barretts Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour. In all 51 people lost their lives in spite of the valiant rescue attempts of many.
I wasn’t in Wellington on that fateful day – April 10, 1968 – but the tragedy was beamed around the country and around the world. We were shown images of the disaster and the rescuers in action. We sat glued to the television as the drama unfolded. We didn’t know Wellington then having recently arrived in New Zealand and were living in Auckland but we could see the rugged coastline and the reef on which the vessel came to rest.
But yesterday’s storm did not cause loss of life; it did, however, cause much damage. It is reported that “At its peak, winds gusting up to 200kmh damaged buildings and tore trees from the ground. …Lashing rain caused surface flooding and, at times, up to 30,000 residents were without power. Conditions were so treacherous that some council and power companies stopped their workers from carrying out repairs.” Click here to read the rest of this and see the devastation caused by the wind and rain.
Fortunately, we came through this storm unscathed. The only damage that I can see is the garden furniture blown around and some of the cyclamens that I planted in pots to brighten the entry to the house have been battered, but a small price to pay for what could have been so much worse. Across the road a tree has been blown down taking part of a newly installed fence with it and blocking the footpath.
A series of calls to and from friends and relatives confirmed that all were well and had suffered little or no damage to their property. So now on this wet and still windy Friday, my small dog and I are having a quiet day at home. There is no attraction for leaving the fireside, except that later Bella will have to have a very short walk.
Here’s a rainbow for those who did suffer damage to their property. At this time we have heard of no injuries to people.
- Wellington battered as storm heads north (news.theage.com.au)
- Wellington storm believed to be worst in 37 years! (disaster-report.com)