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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Yesterday morning there was strong wind.  Later the rain came, and stayed!  It rained continuously for 36 hours, and the city’s damaged infrastructure simply couldn’t cope.  The Avon and Heathcote Rivers both overflowed and many streets and houses have been flooded.

For various reasons Stephen dropped me in Cambridge Terrace near the Worcester Street Bridge this morning.  I thought I’d be fine to walk the few blocks from there to work, but it wasn’t quite that easy.

Avon River between Worcester and Gloucester Streets.

Avon River between Worcester and Gloucester Streets.

Cambridge Terrace and the riverbank were flooded, so I crossed the Worcester Street Bridge, only to find that the other end of that was flooded too.  My only option was to climb along the brick fence, but then I was faced with a deep pool that I had to wade across.  Some people were taking off shoes and socks, but I had ankle boots and an umbrella to manage, so I simply rolled up my trousers and waded through to where I could climb onto a low brick wall and walk along it.

This lake is actually the grassy area beside the Scott statue.

This lake is actually the grassy area beside the Scott statue.

The rest of the way to work was wet, but manageable.  I put a heater on to dry my boots and socks, and the internet and phones went off.  Apparently three bars of the heater was too much for the power board.  Luckily it was easily reset, I confined myself to one bar of the heater, and padded around in bare feet for a few hours until my footwear dried out.

By home time the rain had stopped and much of the flooding had subsided.  We are lucky that our cottage is on higher ground.  Some neighbouring streets had been impassable because of water.   In other areas hundreds of houses have been flooded.  Many of these are the homes of people still awaiting earthquake repairs and fighting with insurance companies.  Having to make yet another claim will surely be too much for some.  This week’s flooding is apparently a one in a hundred years event, and I wonder how long it will be till next time.

“The rain came down, and down, and down
and water surged all over town.”

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On Tuesday evening violent northwest gales wreaked havoc across Canterbury.  20,000 homes are still without power this morning (Thursday).  Many of these are rural, with farmers unable to use their electrical equipment to milk their cows.  It’s unbearable to think there are people still in quake damaged homes who may again be without power.  Several friends had trees knocked down.

We slept through the storm, but got up to find our back garden a mess.  A side fence had come adrift.

Damage to fence

Damage to fence

The worst damage was to the shed roof which had lost two sheets of iron.

Gap on end of shed roof

Gap on end of shed roof

One sheet was in the garden, but we have no idea where the other one went and hope it didn’t cause any damage or injury.   Rob, our lovely handyman, came and fixed the roof and braced the fence.

How did you fare in the strong winds?

“Some fences down, uprooted trees.
We’re grateful that the winds did ease.”

 

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There’s heavy snow now in central Christchurch.  The forecast this morning was for sleety showers, and I thought we were going to escape the white stuff.  I left home before 8am, and noticed then that the rain was transforming into white flakes.  Unusually I’d taken the car, and by the time I got to work the snow was starting to settle and I was glad I had the use of a car park under cover.

Only one brave soul turned up for our 8.30am meeting, and she didn’t stay long as the snow continued to fall.  I phoned today’s volunteer staff, left messages for those who had appointments, and headed for home at 9.30am.  By this time the roads were icy, and I didn’t go above second gear.  Travelling at 20km I still skidded a little when I stopped at one intersection, and was very pleased to make it safely home.  My little shuttle is not meant to be a snowmobile!

The garden looked picturesque with a good half centimetre of snow, but I didn’t stop to take photos.  Now I’m inside with heaters on, the kettle’s boiled, and a cup of tea is what’s needed before I tackle the work tasks I’m able to do from home.  I’m amazed to see cars arriving at the Bridge Club, presumably with drivers who didn’t realise how icy it would be here.  A friend in Mt Pleasant says there’s not much snow up there yet.  I hope the bridge players get home safely later.  All those people who stocked up on bread are vindicated.

Keep safe and warm everyone!

“We thought we might escape the snow
but now it’s freezing point, below.”

 

 

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When I left the library at 5pm yesterday it was cold, dark, and raining.  I decided to check whether a bus was soon due, and to my delight one appeared immediately which could take me to within a few blocks of home.  With heavy traffic the bus crawled along Tuam Street, and I was aware I could have walked as quickly, but was glad to be inside, warm and dry, and supporting public transport.

Walking the last few blocks was dreary – it’s unusual for me to be walking home in the dark, but it is almost midwinter.  I’d expected to be going out to meet some friends that evening, but got messages from two to say they weren’t prepared to venture out.  I contacted the others and we agreed to cancel.  This meant I could stay in the warm and watch “Elementary”.  There’s no sign yet of the forecast snow, so this morning it’s off to work as usual.

While typing this (just after 6am) I’ve watched three separate police cars (easily distinguished by their flashing lights) drive the wrong way down Barbadoes Street and into Oxford Terrace.  Is there something sinister going on in our local red zone?  One car is now sitting at the corner, with no headlights on – very strange, but I need to go and have breakfast.

“An evening spent home, snug and warm,
beats going out into the storm.”

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Minus one degree was the temperature when I left home yesterday morning.  The sun shone above heavy frost.

Frost in Latimer Square

Frost in Latimer Square

I was bundled up with coat, scarf, hat, gloves, and boots, but my fingers and cheeks were still cold.  My fine leather gloves are insufficient for this level of cold, and I need to find some warmer ones.  It occurred to me that I’d be better off wearing a balaclava, but I don’t fancy the army surplus stores type, neither do I want to look like Pussy Riot:

If I want a pink or purple balaclava I think I’d have to knit it, and by the time I’d finished it would probably be summer.  I guess I’ll just stick to the warm scarf and beanie.

“A balaclava might be good
or would it be misunderstood?”

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Tuesday night’s blizzard brought hail and even some snow.  Wednesday morning there was lots of ice in the back yard.

Ice in the back yard

Icy back yard scene

Knowing that my usual path through Latimer Square would have puddles and ice patches, I decided to take the recently opened path through Cathedral Square and along Oxford Terrace.  I used the controlled crossings, rather than jaywalking on icy roads.

Misleading sign in Cathedral Square

Misleading sign in Cathedral Square

In the Square there’s a new sign, but three quarters of the directions are wrong, with the arrows pointing the wrong way!  No wonder tourists (and locals) get confused.  I’ve sent a message to the City Council asking them to get this corrected, but I wonder how the sign could be approved in the first place.

I look forward to the coming of the Avon River Precinct.   Note the Museum in the sunny distance.

I look forward to the coming of the Avon River Precinct.
Note the Museum in the sunny distance.

Snow on Sugarloaf, seen from Oxford Terrace

Snow on Sugarloaf, seen from Oxford Terrace

“It’s good to walk a different way
on a cold, wintry Wednesday.”

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When I got up yesterday morning everything was covered in mist.  At 8am it was only just starting to lift.

Mist in Latimer Square

Mist lifting n Latimer Square

I heard that 18 flights had been delayed and one cancelled.  This morning I’m heading for Hamilton, with fingers crossed for no mist and no delays.

“I would be in a sorry plight
if misty weather stopped my flight.”

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With the weather in the high 20’s, I decided it was time for my first swim of the summer. We drove to Sumner which was my favourite swimming beach in the olden days (pre EQ).  I’d heard that there were new rips, holes, etc, but thought it would be fine if I swam between the flags.  We found the surf club and changing sheds fenced off because of earthquake damage, but the sign that says “Swim between the flags” was still there.  On the beach there was no sign of flags or lifeguards.  Families were playing in the sand with a few people in the water, and I headed bravely out.

Ruth heading into the waves

Ruth heading into the waves

Despite being only an hour before high tide, the water was shallow, and as I waded I could feel a strong rip.  Eventually I decided discretion was the better part of valour and headed back in without having got my top half under water.  I changed discreetly behind a lupin bush, and we headed to dinner.

I’d bought a voucher on ‘GrabOne” for food and drinks at “On the Rocks”, a new Sumner cafe specialising in pizza and beer.  They offer locally brewed Matson’s beers and cider.  Stephen found the beer palatable, but the cider was much too sweet for my taste, and they had no alternative except wine.  There was a good range of pizzas on offer, with a choice of thick or thin base.  Most included cream cheese, not something I’m accustomed to on pizza.  I chose one with chicken and pine nuts, which would in my opinion have been better without the cream cheese.  The portions were generous, and we would suggest ordering just one pizza between two with side salads.

This is not somewhere we’d go again, but those with a liking for sweet cider and rich pizzas might enjoy it.

“She walked into the water and she got her knees all wet
but she hasn’t got her bathing suit wet, yet.”

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From the car park the gathering storm clouds looked spectacular so I snapped a photo.

Storm clouds hovering

By the time we came out again the rain was pelting down.

“I guessed there soon might be a storm
when these dark clouds began to form.”

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The temperature reached twenty degrees today.  That’s amazing considering that we are only two days from the winter solstice and the last few weeks have been very wet.  Having a warm sunny Saturday is a real bonus.

Drying the washing by the river

 A couple of travellers in a van took advantage of the nor-wester and hung their washing out by the river.

“A warm and sunny winter’s day
brought lots of people out to play.”

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