A second major wind storm in just over a month has dealt
another blow to thousands of Mid Cantabrians.
Wind gusts of up to 100km/h, sustained downpours, thunder and
lightening added to what the Metservice is calling one of its
most "active springs" in recent memory, as a an early morning
storm lashed the district yesterday.
Several schools along the foothills were forced to close
again while power lines were damaged by fallen trees, causing
widespread disruption to numerous businesses just weeks after
the worst storm in 30 years hit the district.
Metservice spokesperson Dan Corbett said the storm was not as
disastrous as the September 10 event, however wind speeds in
excess of 100km/h near Methven and up to 200km/h at the top
of the main divide were recorded.
"To get two strong storms back-to-back it shows a very active
spring," Mr Corbett said.
Yesterday EA Networks linesmen worked around the foothills to
restore power to residents, while contractors and
firefighters were called in to clear fallen tress lying
across roads before the winds subsided about 10am.
Their work was done about 10am when the winds finally
Farmers were still calculating multimillion-dollar repair
bill from the previous storm that damaged more than 800
irrigators across Canterbury, trashed properties and impacted
on farm production.
Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury provincial president Chris
Allen said they were nervously ascertaining the extent of
"Five weeks on from the last wind storm we may be back to
square one . . . anecdotally, it seems Mid Canterbury may
have lost yet more shelter belts and the power has been
spotty," Mr Allen said.
Mid Canterbury Rural Support Trust coordinator Allen Baird
said no farmers had pleaded for assistance yesterday, but
that would change if they were without power for another 24
"In 1992 we had the big snow in July then another snowfall in
September, that's the last time I remember back-to-back
events to this extent," Mr Baird said.
Mid Canterbury principal rural fire officer Don Geddes was
notified of about six calls yesterday morning of fallen trees
and fires started by embers of old vegetation burn-offs,
while other brigades reported attended multiple minor
- Myles Hume of the Ashburton Guardian