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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Cyclone Debbie came calling

After Cyclone Debbie wrecked havoc over in Australia, she came calling here in New Zealand.  Luckily she was running out of puff, but brought landslides, rising rivers, and torrential rain with her over a lot of the country.  We were out and about yesterday for a lunch date with our friend Kathryn, and the day was fine for our drive down to Plimmerton.  Kathryn and Graeme were members of our caravan club for several years, until Graeme sadly passed way - we can remember sharing plenty of good times with them.

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Jenny and Kathryn

While we were in the area, we decided to check out the new NZMCA site just around the corner.  It has been up and running for a few weeks now, and it was good to see it being used.  Being so handy to Wellington City, it sure to prove very popular.  The grounds were a bit squelchy with water lying around, but there has been an awful lot of rain lately.

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NZMCA Plimmerton Park

We drove through pea soup on our homeward journey, and with  the amount of rain falling, we decided to check out the Moutoa Sluice Gates.   And we weren’t the only ones – the car park was full of of other interested people who came to see if the gates had been opened.  

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And for our first time ever, we saw the gates open.  Each time the gates are opened, they help speed the passage of floodwaters to the sea by releasing them into the 10km floodway that bypasses the 30 km of slow-flowing meandering channel of the lower Manawatu River around Koputaroa and Moutoa.  This only happens a couple of times a year, so it certainly is a sight to see.

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The Sluice Gates were open

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How high will it rise – and staff in the command centre

Standing on the road bridge gave us a good view of the other side of the structure as muddy water rushed by, keeping a careful watch for cars driving by.

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Looking down at the water rushing by

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Water, water, everywhere

Then we drove back to the Whirokino Bridge to see where all this water passes by as it makes it’s way out to sea. Work has started to replace this old trestle bridge, built in 1939.

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Floodwaters under the Whirokino Trestle Bridge

Cyclone Debbie certainly blew and blew last night, and our power went off briefly.  She is now visiting the South Island so we hope she is not causing too much damage down there.  There are plenty of road closures and warnings in place, so those who are travelling, do take care, check out the warnings, and stay safe.

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