New Zealand’s a bit of fragile country: it’s small for starters — from Invercargill to North Cape is about 2,100 Kilometres. The South Island is narrow, with mountains the length of it. The North Island is wider in the middle, but has plenty of mountains dotted about. The AA has maps and distance calculators. It’s a big problem when something closes a road, as sometimes it’s the only way into a place.
Generally the winter storms sweep through at about lambing time, in August or September, but this year we’ve been gripped by severe storms for most of the last couple of weeks. In parts of the South Island snow is still lying on the ground. That snow caused all kinds of disruption, including problems with the electricity supply. Almost two weeks on,
Alpine Energy says up to 650 households are still without power in the Canterbury area.
Meanwhile, the North Island’s getting thrashing too. Here in Wellington is just very wet, very windy and darn cold. Our problem is that our hills fall down for the slightest reason:
Wellington City Council workers cleared a slip from the approach to the Karori Tunnel this morning.
Up in the centre though, around Waiouru, notorious for its cold, and through the beautiful, but ever precarious Desert Road, things are grim:
The central North Island is completely cut off this evening with all major roads in and out of the region closed, and the bad weather set to continue.
[Quotes above via newswire.co.nz – Top Stories.]
At the moment it’s cold, wet and windy, and showing no sign of letting up.