Lightning strikes – 260 times

Southerly change brings some extreme weather to the district.

Southerly change brings some extreme weather to the district.

SOUTHERLY BLAST: The severe thunder and lightning storm that hit the Gisborne district yesterday afternoon brought 260 recorded lightning strikes and 30 millimetres of rain in the space of an hour and a half. It caused some surface flooding in places like Roebuck Road Bridge (pictured). Picture by Liam Clayton

Extreme weather that came with a sudden southerly change yesterday afternoon caused surface flooding while 260 lightning strikes were recorded across the district in an hour and a half.

The southerly change mid-afternoon brought with it torrential rain, thunder and lightning.

Some of Eastland Network’s equipment was hit by a direct strike that caused a loss of electricity to 257 customers fed from the Pehiri substation.

“Fifty had their power restored within a minute while the remainder had their power back on in 60 to 70 minutes,” the network reported.

It was understood the lightning hit the overhead power lines close to the Pehiri substation.

“There were a number of other faults throughout the district,” said Eastland Network general manager Brent Stewart.

“Most were indidvidual faults as a result of lightning strikes on overhead lines. All the power was restored by late last night.”

Mr Stewart said there were 260 recorded lightning strikes between 2pm and 3.30pm across the region.

“That’s very unusual for this area. Normally we are not that prone to lighting.”

The storm dumped up to 30 millimetres of rain across Gisborne city in the space of an hour and a half.

The council’s Paraone Road rain gauge recorded 30 millimetres, Stout Street 18mm and there were heavy falls at places like Tatapouri (31mm) and Mangapoike (36mm) during the same timeframe.

There was surface flooding in places around the city, noteably the Roebuck Road Bridge.

It was the fourth storm to hit the region in the past two weeks.

Extreme weather that came with a sudden southerly change yesterday afternoon caused surface flooding while 260 lightning strikes were recorded across the district in an hour and a half.

The southerly change mid-afternoon brought with it torrential rain, thunder and lightning.

Some of Eastland Network’s equipment was hit by a direct strike that caused a loss of electricity to 257 customers fed from the Pehiri substation.

“Fifty had their power restored within a minute while the remainder had their power back on in 60 to 70 minutes,” the network reported.

It was understood the lightning hit the overhead power lines close to the Pehiri substation.

“There were a number of other faults throughout the district,” said Eastland Network general manager Brent Stewart.

“Most were indidvidual faults as a result of lightning strikes on overhead lines. All the power was restored by late last night.”

Mr Stewart said there were 260 recorded lightning strikes between 2pm and 3.30pm across the region.

“That’s very unusual for this area. Normally we are not that prone to lighting.”

The storm dumped up to 30 millimetres of rain across Gisborne city in the space of an hour and a half.

The council’s Paraone Road rain gauge recorded 30 millimetres, Stout Street 18mm and there were heavy falls at places like Tatapouri (31mm) and Mangapoike (36mm) during the same timeframe.

There was surface flooding in places around the city, noteably the Roebuck Road Bridge.

It was the fourth storm to hit the region in the past two weeks.

Cruise passengers back on board before storm hit

Most of the passengers who came ashore off the cruise boat Maasdam were back on board by the time the storm hit yesterday afternoon.

Holland America Line cruise ship Maasdam made her maiden visit to Gisborne yesterday.

It was estimated more than 1000 of the 1250 passengers on board the Netherlands-registered ship came ashore for the day.

The 10-deck, 220m-long ship, was built in Italy, launched in early 1993, and weighs 55,575 gross tonnes. She was named after the Maas River in the Netherlands.

Gisborne cruise visit organiser Lana Davy said it was a fantastic day until the storm arrived.

“We had a lot of free-roaming passengers, which was really nice,” she said.

“Steam train Wa 165 did the one trip in the morning and apart from the weather later, the visit went smoothly.”

There were still a couple of tender loads of passengers to go back out to the ship when the storm hit but they were returned safely.

The Maasdam then sailed for Tauranga.

The cruise ship season continues next week when the Golden Princess calls in on Tuesday.

  • Several recreational fishers were concerned about being unable to get parking for their trailers around the boat ramp because the area was cordoned off as part of the cruise visit yesterday. Cones were put in place to give the buses involved in the ship visit room to turn. The Gisborne Herald understands a meeting will be held today between the various stakeholders — Gisborne District Council, Eastland Port, cruise organisers and boaties — to find solutions to the ongoing issue of boat trailer parking at the wharf.
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