Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | July 30, 2008

As the storm moves south…

The rain has been and gone for Hawke’s Bay but there are some sizeable puddles left in the wake of the storm. Like the floods that hit Manawatu/Wanganui a few years ago, Hawke’s Bay appears to have missed the brunt of the storm (although again, there have been pockets of extensive damage).

Or once again, was it because of our wonderful flood control protection schemes and drainage systems?  Very likely. 

We didn’t have the PTA meeting after school yesterday because of the number of rural parents concerned about getting home again. The kids and I spent some time giving the lambs, chooks and two new piglets some more straw to keep their bottoms warm then when the rain eased off, we went rubber necking. Just down the paddock. Lachlan was very impressed with our very own waterfall (the water overflowed the floodgates and took a shorter route from the neighbours). Sarah liked the noise of the water (she likes metaphors so that kept her busy for quite a while).  Meanwhile, I was just nervous about keeping them away from the edge.

Lachlan and Sarah with our "little" creek

Lachlan and Sarah with our "little" creek

So today has continued as normal albeit a little wetter than earlier in the week. My thoughts are with the ones up north still mopping up and the ones down south who can do nothing but wait. Batten down the hatches Mum.

Floods down south bring back a couple of memories for me. There’s a photo from the Otago Daily Times in the late 1970s featuring the Rivett girls and a washed-away Heriot Bridge. That was the storm that saw the farewell of the township of Kelso. We also had to get the motorboat out to save some of the neighbour’s sheep from “Lake Dunrobin” as one low-lying paddock used to be called every time it flooded.

The other memory isn’t a first hand one. We had a crib (bach or holiday home to those outside of the South Island) on the shore of Lake Wakatipu at Kinloch. It had six foot of water through it, which was survivable (for the building, not so much for the mattresses and carpet etc) , but it was the southerly that brought waves crashing into it that did the damage. 

The insurance assessor told Mum and Dad he had entered the crib through the door facing the lake. What door facing the lake?! The whole front of the building had gone and he had gone through an internal door. Bits and pieces of our Kinloch home were strewn along the bank and throughout the lake frontage. Repeated versions of “omigod” and “strewth” was all that Mum could say on the video they took to record this disastrous event. 

It was the end of an era for the Rivett family at Kinloch – but the start of the new one, as we now have a wonderful new little crib up on the hill far out of the reach of floodwaters.

That’s enough from me. Suffice to say that Kinloch is my favourite place in the whole wide world (said without having visited the Greek Islands and the Caribbean).

looking towards the head of Lake Wakatipu, NZ

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