Hola passes us by and leaves no major impact

District dodges a bullet.

District dodges a bullet.

The city beach front sand was groomed by Gisborne District Council contractors this morning and looks perfect, as preparations continue for the New Zealand Surf Lifesaving Championships that start here on Thursday. The organisers breathed a huge sigh of relief as overnight rain was much lighter than expected in Gisborne , and with no risk of emergency river sewage discharges, it means the beach remains “open for business”. Picture by Paul Rickard
The gear containers for the New Zealand Surf Lifesaving Championships are on site at Midway Beach and the working party has put the venue together. The national titles will attract up to 3000 people to the district. They begin arriving today, with competition from Thursday morning to Sunday afternoon. Working party members Kevin Ford (left) and Dave Corrin were pictured hard at work yesterday. Picture by Liam Clayton

THE remains of tropical cyclone Hola blew through the district overnight and with much less rain and wind that forecast.

The district dodged the bullet.

Hola passed further north of East Cape than expected and the heavy rain and strong winds happened offshore.

“The heavy rain and wind did not eventuate,” said Gisborne District Council Civil Defence and emergency manager Louise Bennett.

The heaviest rainfall was recorded at Hikuwai No.4 bridge north of Tolaga Bay, with 106mm over the nine hours of the event here.

“Gisborne city had 49mm, Goodwins Road 69mm, although a private rain gauge there recorded 103mm,” Mrs Bennett said.

Other readings were Ruatoria 92mm, Te Puia 96mm, Matawai 34mm, Waerenga O Kuri 53mm and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council rain gauges at Hangaroa and Tiniroto 39mm.

There was a wind gust of 77kmh recorded at Hicks Bay at 3am today, 65 kmh at Tolaga Bay at 4am and 61kmh in Gisborne at 1am.

There was just one power outage affecting residents on Kaiaua Beach Road, north of Tolaga Bay.

“Trees fell through lines, affecting 16 customers, and our repair crews headed up there at first light,” said Eastland Network general manager Brent Stewart.

“Throughout both the Gisborne and Wairoa districts there have been a handful of other minor faults affecting individual customers, and these are attended to as they are reported.

“Thanks to those who’ve been waiting for their power to be restored,” Mr Stewart said.

Mrs Bennett said while the rainfall and river rises were not what was modelled, it was always good to prepare for the worst and be glad when the worst did not happen.

Emergency Services and GDC staff met at 8.30 this morning for an update.

“We also looked at what we could do better next time — always learning from each event.

“Thanks to our community link groups who were ready for action last night.

“Thanks also to our controller, John Clarke, emergency services and GDC staff as well as the contractors who were ready to work in all conditions and other people who volunteered help.”

THE remains of tropical cyclone Hola blew through the district overnight and with much less rain and wind that forecast.

The district dodged the bullet.

Hola passed further north of East Cape than expected and the heavy rain and strong winds happened offshore.

“The heavy rain and wind did not eventuate,” said Gisborne District Council Civil Defence and emergency manager Louise Bennett.

The heaviest rainfall was recorded at Hikuwai No.4 bridge north of Tolaga Bay, with 106mm over the nine hours of the event here.

“Gisborne city had 49mm, Goodwins Road 69mm, although a private rain gauge there recorded 103mm,” Mrs Bennett said.

Other readings were Ruatoria 92mm, Te Puia 96mm, Matawai 34mm, Waerenga O Kuri 53mm and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council rain gauges at Hangaroa and Tiniroto 39mm.

There was a wind gust of 77kmh recorded at Hicks Bay at 3am today, 65 kmh at Tolaga Bay at 4am and 61kmh in Gisborne at 1am.

There was just one power outage affecting residents on Kaiaua Beach Road, north of Tolaga Bay.

“Trees fell through lines, affecting 16 customers, and our repair crews headed up there at first light,” said Eastland Network general manager Brent Stewart.

“Throughout both the Gisborne and Wairoa districts there have been a handful of other minor faults affecting individual customers, and these are attended to as they are reported.

“Thanks to those who’ve been waiting for their power to be restored,” Mr Stewart said.

Mrs Bennett said while the rainfall and river rises were not what was modelled, it was always good to prepare for the worst and be glad when the worst did not happen.

Emergency Services and GDC staff met at 8.30 this morning for an update.

“We also looked at what we could do better next time — always learning from each event.

“Thanks to our community link groups who were ready for action last night.

“Thanks also to our controller, John Clarke, emergency services and GDC staff as well as the contractors who were ready to work in all conditions and other people who volunteered help.”

Huge relief for champs

Organisers of the New Zealand surf lifesaving championships that start at Midway Beach on Thursday breathed a hefty sigh of relief that the heavy rain did not arrive.

There were no emergency sewage discharges into the city rivers, and the city beaches remain open for business for the public and the championships.

“Its a massive relief for us,” said carnival referee, Gisborne’s Debbie Hutchings. “It’s great that we have been able to ease any concerns for the up to 3000 people who are travelling, or about to travel here for the championships.”

GDC had its contractors on the beach early this morning and the entire city beachfront from The Cut to west of Stanley Road has been cleaned and groomed.

“We hugely appreciate the work the council has done. The beach looks magnificent,” Ms Hutchings said. “Beach preparations started yesterday and gather momentum today, ready for a start with the masters championships on Thursday.”

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Bob Hughes - 8 months ago
I wonder if readers are aware of the devastating long-term effect extreme weather events such as these have on our NZ soils.
In a New Zealand Herald article on 14th Dec 2017 - Precious Soil Being Lost to the Ocean - Waikato Regional Council sustainable agriculture co-ordinator Bala Tikkisetty said, "Between 200 million and 300 million tonnes reach the sea every year. That is 10 times faster than the rest of the world" and "where severe erosion is present it may be best to retire land from grazing".
Thankfully Gisborne District Council, because of our soft-rock geology, is well aware of our district's even more extreme vulnerability to long-term erosion damage of rural land. They have already taken useful steps to lessen the impact: http://www.gdc.govt.nz/erosion-management/
With existing rain forests replaced with more climate-sensitive pastureland, less fertile areas lost to quick-growing exotic forest - where the land again will become sensitive to damage from the weather elements between harvesting - and with more severe and frequent climate events predicted, the erosion process for our precious soils will without doubt accelerate.
Your article said our "District dodges a bullet" and The heaviest rainfall was recorded at Hikuwai with 106mm over nine hours.
We may have missed the brunt of the storm here, but with 106mm downpour over nine hours, that is an enormous amount of rain for that rural region north of Tolaga Bay. I do hope the farmers there did not lose too much more of their precious land.
I sometimes feel annoyed when I read here our locals jumping up and down on the small issues with little consequences for our district's long-term future. Climate change events that affect the district's fertility and producing ability is possibly the most important matter of all to concern ourselves with.
So let's all get active.

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