Wakatipu highest since 1878

Flooding in Rees St, Queenstown, due to the rise of Lake Wakatipu. — Otago Witness 29.1.1924
Flooding in Rees St, Queenstown, due to the rise of Lake Wakatipu. — Otago Witness 29.1.1924
QUEENSTOWN, January 14: Never since the ’78 flood has Lake Wakatipu been in such high flood as it is today.

On several occasions since that historic visitation heavy rain and melting snows in the back country have brought the lake up to within three or or four inches of the top of the Queenstown breakwater, but an improvement in the weather conditions having followed in each instance the danger of flood in the town has been averted. 

This time, however, we have not been so fortunate. Early in the week rain fell at frequent intervals, and the lake rose steadily, but not even on Friday and Saturday, when the rain was fairly continuous, was any alarm felt. The lake was still rising rapidly by midnight on Saturday. Measurements taken showed 24 inches for the preceding 24 hours.

Sunday dawned fine and sunny, but the lake had come up just over the breakwater during the night. Towards noon the sky clouded over, and rain commenced to fall, and the wind, which had been blowing from the north, veered round to the south-west. This drove the lake into the lower portion of the town, and in the space of a few minutes the Marine parade and Rees street were a running sea. The buildings on the lower side were quickly invaded. The Mount Cook Company’s office at the corner of Rees and Ballarat streets suffered most from the intruder. Gradually the regular pulsations brought the water on to the asphalt pavement on the opposite side of Rees street and the owners or occupiers of these premises set about fortifying themselves with sandbags as well as removing merchandise and household effects to places of safety.

Generation gear arrives

Word has been received by the Teviot Power Board (writes our Roxburgh correspondent) that the balance of the machinery (turbines and switch gear) has arrived in Dunedin. The alternators arrived some time ago, and no time will be lost now in getting the lot on to the power site. The work of erection will commence in about 10 days, and a few weeks later should see the first turn out of the wheels. 

Foul smell attracts insects

Widely distributed throughout the lowland forests of New Zealand, and growing on the forest floors, there is found a plant that attracts attention by appealing to one sense and repelling in another sense. It is a bright red fungus, with a superficial resemblance to a sea-anemone and a strong, penetrating, disagreeable smell, Mr J.H. Cunningham, Wellington, who has cultivated this lowly but brilliant plant, Aseroe rubra officially, in his herbarium, states that the colour and the smell attracts insects, which feed on part of it and help to disseminate the spores. The bright red colour, Mr Cunningham adds, is not constant. It varies from bright red to pallid pink; at Weraroa he found a pure white form. An allied fungus has metallic green instead of red.

Peninsula church hits 60

The Broad Bay Methodist Church celebrated its diamond jubilee on Sunday, when there were large congregations at both morning and evening services. The Rev H.E. Bellhouse, chairman of the district, who preached at the morning service, expressed the opinion that they should have made more of the diamond jubilee as it was a notable thing that in a young country like New Zealand an outlying church should reach the 60 years’ stage in prosperity. 

ODT, 15.1.1924  (Compiled by Peter Dowden)