Saturday’s major storm caused widespread damage to the Eastern Waikato town of Te Aroha with an estimation that thousands of substantial trees were uprooted.
Trees blown down at the Te Aroha Golf course. It’s estimated 70 blew down there, some over 100 years old. Weather Watch Centre.
The clean has started and speaking to weatherwatch.co.nz the region’s Mayor, Hugh Vercoe, says Saturday was a very busy day with damage widespread across the town and into the neighbouring town of Morrinsville. “We’ve had 70 call outs today [Saturday], around two thirds relating to lifted roofs or blown down chimneys. A few garage doors have come off including one that completely blew across the street”.
Widespread power cuts were reported, some lasting up to 24 hours. The Mayor says local fire officers say it was difficult to stand up and open fire truck doors and for the first time in memory the winds bounced off the Kaimai’s as far away as Morrinsville where roofs also lifted.
The Weather Watch Centre was the only Forecast Provider to issue a “Storm Alert” specifically for the region warning winds would reach 180km/h at times in the Eastern Waikato town. “From the reports of damage we’re pretty confident those wind speeds eventuated” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
Windows were blown out in many buildings including the local Hospital and Council offices.
The Storm was the worst and most damaging in 30 years, since the locally famous “1978 storm”.
And this weeks upcoming storm is likely to return further gales to the town. “This time they’ll be nor’easters and although they’ll be strong we aren’t expecting a repeat of Saturday, however further damage is still possible due to trees and structures weakened by the south east gales on Saturday” says Duncan.
on 28/07/2008 8:41am
Total rainfall for 24 hours to 9 am Sunday was 75mm.
We got off lightly compared with some areas.
on 28/07/2008 9:04am
Still a pretty big soaking. This next system has the potential to cause major probs…but probably not for your area.
on 28/07/2008 6:11am
You were bang on of your predictions of Te Aroha.
Suffered abit of damage, got off lightly compared to some.
Ive got everything crossed that this next one wont be so bad, been busier than a blue arsed fly preparing for it though. Will be watching this site very closely
on 28/07/2008 6:34am
Thanks for the message. I’ll be coming to Te Aroha on Wednesday to witness the damage first hand. Nor’easters will be up to gale force but I think it’ll only damage things that have already been weakened.
Flooding will be a bigger feature of this next storm.