Today is my last day at home for a week as I am heading back to Wellington for work. The past week has been interesting, to say the least.
The week started with a storm that saw quite high winds pummel much of the country. There were trees coming down all over the place around us, several blocking the only road into the valley. I drove down to the bridge to see what the river was like and on the way back this pine came down. Didn’t have saws so me and another guy just snapped the branches back to clear it.
On the Monday night our power went off about half five in the afternoon as lines were taken out somewhere. We were OK though. The oven had just gone on to bake a fish so I took the fish over to the Woolshed and baked it in the BBQ instead. With no power it was candles and torches and the whole family was forced into that weird and very un-21st Century activity called “Talking to each other”. Our power came back on about nine at night, so it wasn’t too bad. There have been power cuts out here that lasted days or even weeks after some storms. I really need to get a generator so I can keep the freezers going. We have insurance on the frozen meat but it would be a terrible waste if it thawed. The freezers only need a few hours a day of power supply to keep the contents frozen.
A slip on the road at McCain’s Cutting, two kilometers south of us.
And then…it started raining. Man did it rain. It bucketed down basically all Monday bight and most of Tuesday. Half a kilometer north of us the road was cut and two kilometers south it was as well. The river came up quite quickly. We were in no danger, but to add to our joy the phones went out as well. These three photos show the creek and bridge that connects the house with the Woolshed. Normally it is a dry ditch but takes the run off for some large paddocks in the farm across the road.
Down at the river, the road was blocked and a bunch of road workers who were clearing slips further up the valley almost got stranded. They ended up parking their utes and flat bed truck at our place and making their way through all perched in the bucket of their digger. The water came up almost over the top of the digger’s wheels.
Alexander and I went down about half seven when the river was supposed to peak and it was even higher. Check this ‘before’ and ‘after’ shot of the same spot. The river is now about 5m wider at this point.
North of us the valley widens and it was a lake (dodgy shot taken with cell phone and it was almost dark)
and the next day when the water had receded.
We were left with mud. Lots of mud. Too much for a car to get through so until the roads were graded clear we were stuck at home.
Phones were out for four days, which made this week a quiet one for me seeing as I was On Call.
One benefit of the weekend was that I think I found all the places in the Woolshed’s roof where it leaks water.