Floodwaters surround a church in Kaeo.
Photo / Herald On Sunday.
They were prepared to wait all night long for Lionel Richie – even in the pouring rain.
But there was no dancing on the ceiling, or anywhere else, when his long-awaited performance at the Mission Estate Winery in Hawke’s Bay was cancelled two hours before showtime.
Hundreds of fans braved the weather to see Richie, who was due to take the stage at 8.30pm, with The Warehouse in Napier selling out of gumboots and wet weather gear.
News he would not perform was announced at 6.30pm, after the support act had finished.
The cancellation angered fans who had sat in the rain for several hours.
Ian Black, who travelled from Auckland with his partner, said the news was greeted with booing.
“It had been raining all night and all day, but we were prepared to tough it out. It should have been done earlier, they must have had access to weather reports.”
Everyone who bought tickets – which cost between $105 and $325 – was offered a full refund.
The deluge forced the cancellation of other events yesterday, cut power to homes, and closed roads.
It was caused by a deepening low front that hit Northland and Auckland on Friday night before making its way south.
The rain caused power outages to about 8000 Vector customers around the north of Auckland and forced the postponement of the Auckland Derby Day race meeting at Ellerslie by 24 hours.
Part of State Highway Two near Katikati was closed due to flooding yesterday afternoon and the Pahiatua Track in Manawatu was shut last night.
Wellington police reported at least three crashes in Porirua.
The Coromandel Peninsula was worst-hit during the 30 hours to 6pm yesterday.
MetService said Castle Rock near Thames had 195mm and Golden Cross near Hauraki 187mm. In Northland, Kaikohe recorded 158mm, Kerikeri and Kaeo 138mm.
The main street of Kaeo was flooded overnight, with only trucks and 4WDs able to get through until about 9am yesterday when the water started subsiding.
No residents had been evacuated but authorities received a number of calls about minor roof damage and fallen trees.