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GALES AND FLOODS.

DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.

SHIPPING INTERFERED WITH.

(By TkUMRAPH.)

(FROH OUE SPECIAL CORKE3PONDKST.)

WELLINGTON, April 18. There can be no possible shadow of doubt that Wellington is in the track of the winds. It seems to have been blowing now for about a month. First it was northerly for several days, then there was a gleam of sunshine, after which the winds descended on ue once more from the south with redoubled energy. The howling southerly gale, which, accompanied by a cold rain, set in on Wednesday night, is at the moment of writing (Sunday afternoon) apparently on the point of dying away, though the sky is still overcast and there appears to be no sign of fine weather. All day on Thursday the gale raged, and the city presented a gloomy and miserable appearance. AU Thursday night the storm raged, and on Friday the weather seemed worse than ever. The streets were almost deserted. For the forty-eight hours up to nine o'clock on Saturday morning 6in of rain fell, and the horizontal movement of the wind was 700 miles for the twenty-four hours, M'hatever that may mean. However, one had only to go out to see practical illustrations of the force of the wind, for trees were broken, windows smashed and chimney tops blown off. At the top of Cuba street a fence was lifted clean on top of a house, and in another part of the town two tin buckets that had been blowa aloft were seen hanging to the telephone wire. There was some interruption to the telephone service. The railways north of Wellington have fared badly. The service on the Government line between Wellington and Eketahuna is interrupted owing to two heavy slips north of Mtturiceville. Ballast trains and workmen have been despatched to clear the obstructions, but the work will probably occupy some days. A portion of the ballasting inside the stone wall at Ngahauranga hay bean washed away by the ueavy sea.

The passengers to Eketahuna by Friday's train were compelled to spend the night at Mauriceville, but were sent on to their destination on Saturday in traps. Efforts will be made to re3tore communication with Eketahuna by Monday. In the Manawatu Gorge two small slips have fallen acrose the line, but as a very much greater slip is threatening it is considered unsafe to let trains pass. One of the approaches to the Pohangina bridge is damaged owing to the river having changed its course and now setting into the bank. The Foxton line is under water in a number of places, and the service is entirely stopped. The damage on the Wanganui line is even more serious. A train ran into a slip at Goat Valley tunnel, but escaped without serious damage. At Feilding the line has suffered severely, the damage including the washing away of part of the Aorangi bridge, the fracture of a pier of the Wangaehu bridge, and the flooding of the line for half a mile about the Wangaehu station. Advice has also been received of the washing away of six spans of the Rangitikei bridge, only one span being left at each end. All the dolphins are gone and great damage has been done to the river bank. On tho Napier section th£ centre pier of the Takapau bridge ia washed away, and a very considerable portion of the northern part of the line is under water. The Oroua river is in very heavy flood, the heaviest ever known, and the bridges on the road from Feilding to Aehurat and at Aorangi are seriously damaged. The former is now spanning dry land, while the main stream has been diverted to the Feilding side after washing away a great length of road. At Aorangi the railway and road bridges have each lost two spans. Mr E. Bell's house, nineteen miles from Feilding, and Mr A. J. Bailey's residence, were washed away, and reports of loss continue to come in. Altogether, the damage in the Feiiding district will amount to several thousands of pounds. At sea the weather appears to have been equally boisterous, and the whole of the steamer traffic in and out of Wellington is completely disorganised. A tremendous sea was running at the Heads and along the coast for some distance on either side, €he foam dashing high up the cliffs. The like has not been seen for many years. No serious damage to shipping has, however, so far been reported. Even big steamers like the Rotomahana had to seek shelter from the storm. The passengers by the latter must have had a very miserable time. Experts here thought she might not get to Lyttelton till Sunday afternoon. / A sensation was caused in town on Friday by a report that the Talune was wrecked off the Kaikouras, and anxious crowds collected at the newspaper offices and the office of the Union Company. The Talune, however, arrived safely. The steamer left Lyttelton on Thursday night, and was off Wellington Heads at 11.20 a.m. on Friday, but Captain Phillips having run his distance, and it being impossible to see 500 yards ahead, he determined to put the ship's head to the southward and keep oat to son, At 12.60 on. SatTirxio-y lie tcraed the st-2£>TH.3rr*s head the Heads foand the fog sts silicic as ever-- .A* lluiililiiniinpiiioiiQ glimpse of the laud or Hglits, tie for the second time turned the steamer's head to the southward. Ultimately it cleared up sufficiently to pick up the entrance, and shortly after 10 o'clock she was safely berthed, at the Queen's wharf. Captain Phillips and his officers state that it was the -worst -weather they have ever experienced in Cook Strait. The passengers speak in the highest praise of the seamanship of Captain Phillips and his officers and men on the trip. There were 300 people on board the Talune. The steerage passengers had a very rough time, as the water got into the fore part of the ship in considerable quantities. An additional gloom -was given to the trip by the sudden death of the footballer, Ernest Merritt, on board. He was sitting and conversing with-two of his Club mates on the forward hatch when he suddenly fell back with a sught groan and expired. The chief steward and stewardess, as well as the other officers of the vessel, did all that was possible for the unfortunate young fellow, but without avail. The deceased had not previously complained of illness, and was apparently in the best- of health. It is said that he was troubled with sea sickness on the voyage up. He wae only recently married. . The harbour presented a scene of wreckage, and desolation. The yachts Siren, belonging to Mr Anderson, and moored at Thorndon, filled and sank, and now only the tops of her masts can be seen. The Waiwetu, which was moored at the same pldce, drifted on to a sandbank near Kaiwarawara, but was not injured. Mr Black's Jennie Reid beached herself and sustained considerable damage. All about the harbour, while the pale was at its worst, various smaller yachts filled and sank. (PBESS ASSOCIATION TELEGRAM.) WELLINGTON, April 18. Information was received from Hastings to 3ay by the Secretary of the General Post Office to the effect that the most disastrous j flood in the history of Hawke's Bay was experienced there since Friday, and the damage to rbads and bridges is difficult to estimate. It will be some thousands. Bridges at Omahu and Radcliffe were washed away, and Clive is almost completely submerged. Two lives are known Ito be lost, and others are almost certain. lAt Meanee, whiah is almost unapproachable, the, effects of the .floods must be disastrous in the extreme. Two rescue i boas, containing five men each, which left for Farndon, have not since been heard'of, and it is feared that they have been swept to I seaandlost. InoneboatwasSergeantDonovan of the police. Captain McCartney, and Mr Csssin were in one but the names of the others are unknown. Messrs Bradber and Coughun also are reported to be drowned. The damage to the railway line by washouts, &&, is very extensive, and it will be a couple of months before it can be repaired. Meanwhile, the headquarters of the railway station master are removed to Hastings. Between Farndon and Tomoana Awatoto the river replaces the railway line. All the suburban small farmers are practically ruined. Between Petone and Tarawera several bridges are washed away. Although there was a slight interruption 'M railway traffic in the Manawatu Gorge no great damage has been done in the district. The settlers, having plenty of trarning, raaoved tbejr stock to high gvound.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18970419.2.38

Bibliographic details

GALES AND FLOODS., Press, Volume LIV, Issue 9705, 19 April 1897

Word Count
1,446

GALES AND FLOODS. Press, Volume LIV, Issue 9705, 19 April 1897

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