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THE WORST OYER.

POWER AND TELEGRAPH SERVICES RESTORED. INLAND RAILWAYS STILL .SNOW-BOUND. Brighter climatic conditions prevailed in the city yesterday. "Tho Glorious Fourth," as our American Allies call it, brought forth glorious weather, sunshine and clcar skie3 replacing the cold rain and foggy atmosphere of the early days of the week. In the afternoon telegraphic communication with the North Island was restored, and at ten o'clock in the evening tho wclcomo news that Lake Coleridge current was again available was received. The prospcct of brilliantly lighted streets and a return to the normal tramway conditions was most gratifying. At six o'clock last night the portions of the city beyond Cathedral square were in completo darkness so far as street lights were concerned, and what artificial illumination thero was simply served to "make darkness visible." The curtailed tramway service involved considerable over-crowding, especially between five and six o'clock. By ten o'clock in the evening thero were strong indications of a hard frost, the water in the side-channels in Cathedral square having a thin coating of ice on it. Although the train services have not yet been completely restored, it should not now be long before this is effected. News from the back country is still indefinite, and little of an authentic character has oomo to hand.

LAKE COLERIDGE POWEB. AVAILABLE AT 10 O'CLOCK LAST NIGHT. Current from Lake Coleridge was restored over the southern transmission line last night, full pressure being received at 10 o'clock. The City Council was immediately supplied, and current turned on to the street lights. The Addington substation reported that everytiiing was working satisfactorily. Mr L. Birks, the Government oleotrical engineer, uttered a word of warning in speaking later to a "Press" reporter. The south line, he said, might break down at any minute, wnilst it would be days before the north line could be brought into commission again. He hoped to get men through to Lake Coleridge to-day with food and material. The position was still very serious, but the Department's officials would do their best to keep up the Bupply.

The restoration of communication with the lake was effected through the instrumentality of, Mr Boris' Daniels, who, leaving Mt. Hntt on skis at about noon yesterday, encountered a party from the lake at Point Hut, thirteen miles from the power-house. This party consisted of three men -under Mr Blackwood. It left Lake Coleridge on Tnesday morning on horseback, and took three days to cover seventeen miles, the gnow being seven feet deep in the drifts and three or four feet deep on the roads. Mr Daniels communicated his instructions to them, and they were able to enter into telephonic comcunication with ths lake! The party sheltered last evening at Brackcndale. Once communication had been restored telephonic connexion wks effected with Christchurch by using the transmission line, the. messages from the city to the lake and vice versa being relayed on by a party of three men from the Department, consisting of Messrs Fernandez, Caldwell. and Carter, who were stationed at Hawkins, about half-way through. The line was very faulty, however,. the speakers' voices being heard very faintly. Sometimes the men at the. Christchurch end could just hear what was being Baid, but very often not. ' Owing to one repair gang being unaccounted for during the afternoon the southern transmission line could not be tested till 8 o'clock last evening, and then onwards it was gradually "soaked," that is, the gradual turning on of the pressure so that any faults existing would swell up.

Though communication haa to a certain extent been restored with Lake Col.eridge, strenuous attempts are being maintained to got provisions through to the people there. The party who attempted with horses and a buggy to get through from Hororata were forced to return thoro last night. To-day an attempt will be made with a big car with battened wheels to push through. Yesterday morning, Mr Birks telegraphed to Messrs Wigley and Jones, Fairlie, asking for the loan of skis, motor sledges, or personal assistance in order to get provisions through to the lake.

Mr W. Sandelin left Hororata for Lake Coleridge yesterday via the north line, travelling on snow shoes. It is anticipated that it will take him some time to cover the distance.

Mr E. Hitchcock, of tho Department's staff, returned to Christchurch yesterday after an arduous three days in a motor-car with Mr Wright. They went from Hororata up the Rookwood road and Beach's track, Mr Fazakerlcy, the lineman with them, doing excellent work. They think they made the final repair on the south line late on Wednesday. Mr E. Parry, the Government's chief hydro-electrical engineer, in a communication received by Mr L. Birks, says die primary cause of the failure of tho transmission line is an inherent defect in the insulators, and that it is the intention of the Department to replace the whole of the present insulators with a newer type as soon as thov can be procured. Thev are not procurable just now, and it is with difficulty that the Department is able to obtain tho necessary spares to maintain the lino Given good sound insulators, lie says, there is no reason why a snowstorm should cause a breakdown unless the circumstances are exceptional. Once, however, the line is rendered dead, the snow accumulates and malres it difficult to restore the pressure without causing delays and the breakdown of further insulators. IN THE SNOW COUNTRY.

MOTOR DASH TO COALGATE. SEVERE CONDITIONS. (TKOU OUR SPECIAL BKPOBTEX.) COALGATE, Wednesday. Christchurch citizens, unless thev paid a visit to the hill country, cannot realise the conditions against which iho employees of tho Lake Coleridge Electrical Department and the Post and Telegraph Department are fighting at present. Practically speaking, no snow has fallen at all in town during the past five or six days, but west of the Kirwee and Hororata districts the whole country is deep under a'

thick white mantle, ranging from 8 inches or so, to as many feet in the drifts. On the main roads about Coalgato the average depth of snow ia 16 to 18 inches, which does not sound much, but is quite enough to stall a car and make travelling even on horseback an affair of some difficulty. On Tuesday, a plucky attempt to Ret a messago through to Coal gate was made by an employee of the P.W. Dopartment, named Robert Allen. ' Ho was dispatched from Darfield in the afternoon with instructions to got to Coalgato "at all costs." The distance between the township is about seven or eight miles bv road. Allen who is a short man, set out through the soft snow and failing daylight gaily enough. After a few miles of tho heartbreaking snow-plugging, which is worse than walking in sand by a good deal, Allen began to knock up and bv tho timo he reached the Hawkins ho was v?rv nearlv at the end of his resources. Hero a good Samaritan came to the rescue in tho person of Mr Green, a local farmer, who oV tainod a horse and packed Allen on to the Coalgato Hotel, almost complete]? done up. This walk of Allen's was a pluckv one carried out under verv tiring conditions, and no doubt ho would hare made tho hotel all for ns someone said who saw him come* in "he had his teeth shut" and meant to get there. Allen hails from London and his main trouble seems to have been that he had orders to go back fcn Darfield: "Dawfield! Thev told me to walk back to Dawfield! Blimey!" with a wealth of expression in the latter word, EFFORTS BY MOTOR. The day following this episode no :5 s3 £ five cars were sent out ov the Public Works Department witk men, whose object it was either to effect repairs to • the lines or to cefc through to Coalgato. Three of «ie cars started on Wednesday morninjy and another, with whom was a r£ presentative of "The Press," left the Addington sub-station at 2 p.m. Th e driver and owner of the car was Mr /• of the Tm Tapu Dairy a., and with him was Mr G. F. Ferguson, superintendent at the Addington substation. The car was a large and Eowerful one, and it was thought to ave a fair chance of getting through to Coalgate. It got there all right, but there waa verv little pleasure about the journey past Hororata. The human freight was comparatively light but a good deal of weight was made up by parcels of oilskins, gum-boots, shovels, block and tackle, telephone in! strumentß. etc., which it was thought advisable to take. The journev out J as far as Hororata was practically uneventful, but half a mile or so outRide the township three other Public Works Department's cars were found one of which had been rigged up with asort of cow-catcher or snow-plough in front. The. device was a formidablelooking affair, but the snow at this point vras hardly deep enough to allow it to Bhow its capabilities.

THE DASH FOR COALGATE. i After a short conference here, at which the opinion was expressed that Mr cSbLL**? °° uld not 6«t though to Coalgate by any manner of means, the party separated. Mr Agar and Mr Ferguson decided that they would •at " «ach Coalgate—so far the .furthest south" point for cars has Hororata— and a few minutes atter 4 i>.m. a start was made. The distance is about 4} miles, and the first two miles of the journey were accomplished with verv little trouble and •' with not very much low gear work, inen the snow became deeper, and a stopt was nlade to fix chains on the driving wheek. The chains did not be an unmixed Messing by any* means, but by lightening the car of its passengers, who assisted bv a n,?li y + -f l .? ccaßio ?,' lI1 y- Progresses made to within a mile of Coalgate. At this point there is a plantation of pines on the western side of the road and the travellers felt that once there! the snow would probably be shallower ■ and the going easier. Unfortunately the contrary ttos the case, and it wis '/> It, P ° llI l wisdom of put?n C th d d nd fi " e(3, and" pis C hs the party being 'Coalgate or Bust 1" THE GOAL REACHED. .nfKH 116 ® dark at this stage, and tiie bright, starry noavens ond>tfte wide expanse of glittering snow made a very remarkable picture, and one that ' is not usually seen, fortunately, in Can- ' That there was harchhm connected with the general Christmas appearance of the scene was brought tombiy to mind by the advent of a 1 man on horseback clutching a hl-go - sack across the front of his saddle. He - pulled up, and after watching the snow shovellers grunting and pumng round j the motor, he cheered them up by stating that there was about half a M mile of bad stuff in front of them. He* then rode off, remarking that ho must got back to hiß camp. "We've had no bread for the past three days," he sa-id, .but 1 ve got five loaves here, and that ought to last us'for a bit." By six o'clock the Selwyn bridge just above Coalgate had been reached, arfd the goal of the party was practically in sight. _ More pushing and shoving and shovelling took place, and at length the jast water-race was crossed, and tho headlight of a motor of the Post ani ■ '»"■ Telegraph Department was seen, this ' sar having forced its way through to Coalgate by tho main road from Darhold, tho men in chargo being engaged m making repairs to telegraph and telephone lines on the way up. A SURVEY OF THE DAMAGE. After a much-needed meal, the combined forces wont out on tho road from LoaJgate to Darfiold to have a look ac the damago to tho north transmission ' A lino and telephones reported by wio 1 telegraph men. It was freezing hard at this time, and tho keon air cut like a knife, while tho powdory frozen snow spun like spray from the wheels of th< car as they bit into it. >/ A bunch of five or six telephone and • telegraph wires runs along tho south side of the road just here, and a glance ■; at them was enough to show that there would be work for a good many men V for a long time. Tho "polos" in this instance were made of railway rails, and these were bent in a half-circle, like a wilting candle on a hot day, whilo the - wires wore lying in more or less tangled festoons on the snow. On he : north side of the road runs the north transmission lin© for tho current fronl tho lake. This carries thrco high tension cablo3 on arms high up_, and lower down is the arm which carries tho telephone wires to the power-house. .About half a mile or so from Coalgat© these tele phono wires were down, and about a inilo and a half past tho township one , < of the big cables was right down oa the ground, its insulator reposing peace- - fully at the foot of polo 417. Amongst tho varied equipment of the ; car was a portable telephone apparatus, and an attempt was made to get into communication with the sub-station at Addington, so as to report progress up to date. A long rope with a foot-loop in it was thrown over one of the cross farms, and one of tho party was hoisted up until ho could get on to the iron .. steps on tb© pole. It can easily bo imagined that it was bitter work hand- , ling wires and fixing them to the overhead transmission cable in such j .weather, but it was done, and then the portable telephone was attached and ft - long ring given. There was no result; „ and the instrument was changed for r another. After several rings the sub- Testation answered. ' Quito a long con- J vereation too place, Mr Ferguson re* ( porting on the damago ho had located I and other technical matters, and receivincr in return the latest news from the p »| Hub-station, which included tho first in- 1 timation of Mr Boris Daniels's dash f° r £ the lake on skis, Mr Daniels having beca jsaj motored up by Mr Gray, tho distn* J® bution engineer, to Hororata,

thence he made his first point tho Gate got, where he stayed the night. A FORLORN HOPE. It was while engaged in telephoning fts sub-station that a light was seen fir out over the snow in the direction of the railway. Tho light waved a iL times, and there was an imitation „{ a ki n(l of Morse signalling. Then tamo » lamt llail ovcr t,io sno;v * •'Hullo, who are you:-"' _ The party ikwl in ropiv *'Public "Works. So Line the answer. "We left jJJir Wo cars stuck up in the Hawkins and we've been walking to Coil- ♦„>' "Come over hero," the repair invited. "We can't, there's threa F ect 0 f ancl w ' re alKI " t .p). !, ..y. ed int'" AfKT this exchange of civilities Se distant signallers stumped off along {he railway line in tho direction of Coalgate' A REUNION. fin a return being made to tho hotel ;t was found that they had just arrived thev proveil to be anothor gang or gtSwlm lis"! I.tcn jtraeslins! throueh the snow to get at the transmission Th(! 1 ' 0t(! . 1 at c th,s V mu -no crammed to overflowing. Seventeen linesmen of tho Public Works department repair men ok the Post and TcleCTflph Department, half a dozen tram Sas'engers who were stranded and could Sot"cot away, motor drivers, reporters, and others, made a cheery and, in most roses, steaming throng. The bar parlour was reminiscent of a mountaineer s hut after its occupants had had a stiff climb Festoons of socks were arrayed in front of a cheerful fire, the fender was full "f sopping wet boots, and tho decorations were topped _ off with a couple of pairs of exceedingly moist trousers which were being dried for tho morrow." Everyone was very chcerful, though the snow n nd the damage it had caused came in for a few unfettered remarks. A brief interlude in the conversation was caused by somebody's boots getting the toes burnt out of them, an incident highly amusing to everybody bnt the owner, who caressed them ruefully with a piece of mutton fat. Gradually everyone disappeared to his bunk, beds having been extemporised all over tho house. HORSES v. MOTORS. The representative of "The Press," speaking with one who had had a very extensive experience in snow country, was told that it was quito hopeless under the present conditions to attempt to get a car through to the lake. Tho most powerful car made could not do the job, and much time would be wasted if tne use of cars was persisted in. "People nowadays seem to think that there are only motor-cars to get about in, and the horse is forgotten. With a good horse it should bfe a matter of small difficulty to get through to tho lake in five or*six hours. I should suggest that the easiest plan to get the gangs out would be to send forward a man or two on good horses, who could see how the road was, and then the rest of the men could be brought on with their gear in a light spring cart with throe norses harnessed to it. By this means much quicker progress oould be mode than by troubling about motors. I know it can be done, because I have seen it done under worse conditions than are on the Lake road at present " As a matter of fact, Mr Ferguson's party made all the necessary arrangements to go out this morning on horseback and attempt to get through to the lake, and with anything like reasonable luck they Should succeed. . It was jntended to start early in tho morning, but the very hard frost—so hard that a thirteen-stono man could jump lightly on the snow crust at 7.30 a.m. —made it necessary to wait until there was a slight softening. Plenty of food, good horses, and perseverance will 'probably bring this party right through.

THE TRAMWAY PLANT. ACCIDENT CURTAILS CAB 4 SERVICE:' It was fortunate that communication was restored with Lake Coleridge yesterday, for at 4 p.m. the sadlyoverworked Tramway plant gave evi- • denco of the strain, the automatic stoker of the large boiler breaking down. • As a result hand-stoking had to be resorted to, and interior coal be- • ing encountered, the pressure went ■ down. There was an immediate disorganisation of tU© tramway Eqrvico, ' which was not restored till 6.30 p-m. ' The Board had given notice to the publio of the introduction of a reduced ser- ; ' vice at 6.30 pan., but owing to the new condition of affairs, this had to be resorted to at 4.30 p.m. All trailers were cut off the electric cars, and the service was. conducted by So electric cars, assisted by six steam engines, which wore enabled to draw 22 trailers, these being requisitioned for the longer • trips. In other words, 60 car 3 wero available in place, of the usual 99. Naturally there was considerable overr crowding, especially between 5 and 6 o'clock,. but the difficulties were over- . come, and the people transported to their homes. Owing to the trailers having only electrical fittings, hurri- " c«no lamps had to be hurriedly requivtioned for lighting purposes. A more serious effect of the accident • to the automatic stoker was that it was found impossible, to supply the Go- ' Ternment with 1000 k.w. in .the»* evening, as was anticipated, the supply falling to 500. As a result the power which the City Council was able to • supply was. greatly limited, and Mr E. 1 Stark, the city electrical engineer, informed a "Press" representative that instead of 600 k.w. which the city station was receiving the previous night, it was obtaining only 200. The usual supply is 2000. As a result the current was out down more stringently, and for hours Mr Stark's two tele- • phones were ringing continuously, and lis ears filled with plaintive requests , i for a little current. JThe street lighting was further reduced, only Cathedral square being lit up. As showing the strenuous work the Tramway plant has been put to, Mr E. Turner, the Tramway electrical engineer, informed a "Press" reporter that instead of the normal load of 16,000 Units, that of Wednesday had been 30.000. " , TJndoubtedly a bigger stand-by plant would save considerable inconvenience y the event of another serious breakdwn» t of the Lake Coleridge lines. Questioned by a "Press" reported on , matter last evening, Mr E. Stnrk, Cfty electrical engineer, asked: > «onld the public pay, snv, 30 per )j • more for their electricity, and in ta;,- manner be really' immune'from ' , ""oobl© of the pre*cnt nature, or l> would they run the risk of the current jt - S? 10 ® c,, t °ff, as it is now?" Mr ,'f otnrk was of tho opinion that the it -Wanufacturers of the city would rnther 1} face one week, or two weeks, of idle- [ nes ?' lan ' ,n y "n increased charee, wch as a stand-by plant would put I j. teem to. [£'/;?/*- " | BOARD AND INDUSTRIES. f 1 The following letter was addressed to Mayor (Mr H. Holland) yesterday ' j -a? A • Thompson, General Manager 11 t u Traniwa y Board:— ' **1, rr Uve honour to advise you that Board gave full and symv consideration to the request . . - the deputation which waited upon , yesterday, that the Board's supply ' i » cnrren t to the Public Works Depart- ■. ,V should be increased from the 1 .Junimum contract amount of 500 k.w. ■ l w * the daytime in '•'l 5 that certain industries in the might be kept going. The Board % .fegrets exceedingly that it cannot ?i with the request. The steam gra'•S'Facity of the Board's plant is 2000 Of thia 50Q kj». »« »♦ tli« dis-l

posnl of the Government, leaving 1500 k.w. for tramway purposes. The tramway peak load on "muddy street" days is about 1000 k.w. at midday and 1750 k.w. at 5 p.m. Since the lake troublo has necessitated 500 k.w. being given to the Government, the tramwav peaks have been lowered by the use of steam locomotives and the withdrawal of a few cars. To comply with the deputation's request that another 500 k.w. be supnlied to the Government would obviously mean a very drastic curtailment of tramway services, with considerable inconvenience to the public. Furthermore, the overcrowding on those cars which would remain in service would be very great, involving, too. considerable risk of accident.

There is another point. Two of the Board's generators are obsolete in type and very tricky in operation. For instance. if tho Board last night had ordered a reduction fn services to-day iu order that the wishes of the deputation might be complied with, these instructions rould not have been carried out, because the armature of one of these generators, brought temporarily into operation because of Lake Coleridge trouble last night, burnt out, and will consequently be out of commission until this evening. The other 500 k.w. D.C. generator is equally sensitive. This shows that the margin of safety for all interests concerned, even with a reduced tramway service is much too small. After £he departure of your deputation. the Board conferred with the Public Works Engineer, and learnt that the Government had made arrangements to supply some of the tramway power to the freezing and cool storage people mentioned by you, and this, together with the above consideration, influenced it in its decision. To "change over" tho Government supply from 500 k.w. to 1000 k.w. involves an interruption of tram traffic up to 25 minutes in some cases, and then some time elapses_ before cars can be put on to the "time-table" times again, so that it would be impracticable to give the Government the extra power during the two hours' slack time morning. and afternoon, evon if the other difficulties mentioned were overcome. The Board would have been pleased if it coiild have met the deputation's wishes, but thinks that you will recognise the difficulties which prevented it so doing. It is understood that tho street and house lighting of city and suburbs has been almost completely cut off. As the tram traffic after'6.3o is largely pleasure riding it is thought that the lighting requirements of the city should have preference. The tram traffic is easier then than in the business hours of the day, but by still further curtailing the services after 6.30 p.m. the Board will be able to increase the power at the disposal of tho Government from 500 k.w. to 1000 k.w. about 7 p.ml nntil 6 a.m. the following day This change is being effected this evening. P.S.—Since writing the above the automatic stoker of tho largo boiler has broken down. In order to maintain the 600 k.w. supply to tho Government in accordance with contract the reduced service at 6.30 p.m. mentioned above, will have to be introduced at

once, viz.. 4.30. It will now be impossible to increa'se the Government supply to 1000 k.w. this evening as was anticipated.

TELEGRAPH LINES. COMMUNICATION RESTORED. Yesterday afternoon the Telegraph Department got into communication with Wellington, via the West Coast. At present onlv one line is available, but it is hoped to have another clear to-day. The repair gangs have had to face exceedingly harsh conditions, and much praise is due to them for what, under the circumstances, must be regarded as a prompt restoration of the service. Parties were out all day yesterday working on the north lines, but news of their doings was meagre. Apparently, there was little improvement in the condition of the line, falling trees being a great handicap. A message from Waipara to the local office was to the offoct that parties wero operating to the north of the town, and that two gangs wero on the Cheviot side, trying to get through to Kaikoura. This last-mentioned gang is in charge of Mr Hounsell, sub-engineer. Parties are also working down from Kaikoura, but no news has been recoived of them. From 3.30 p.m. yesterday belated urgent and cable messages were transmitted along the West Coast line, and from about 9 p.m. onwards a good deal of Press matter was dealt with. Tho repairs to this line are of a substantial, but temporary nature.

THE RAILWAY SERVICE, SEVERAL LINES SNOW-BOUND. The Railway Traffic Office reported last evening that the Cheviot, Rangiora'-Eyreton,. and Culverden lines were clear. On the Culverden line the engino had to push through 3ft of snow. The train ,was an hour late in getting there, but it came back practically on time. The Midland train from Christchurch got as far as Springfield.'- It will be some timo before the line further west will be available for traffic. Trouble happened on the Oxford and Whitecliffs lines yesterday through the freezing of the snow, and the trains were held up at Oxford and Whitecliffs. Goods traffic is not yet free on many of the lines, for though the main rails are clear the sidings are snow and frost-bound. IN THE COUNTRY. NORTH CANTERBURY. Captain S. M. McGee, Command Paymaster at Christchurch, who left Christchurch on Tuesday for Hanmer Springs, but was unable to get beyond Waipara, stated yesterday that most of tiie paddocks between Christchurcn and Kaiapoi were a sea of water. At Rnngiora a man who descended from his railway carriage plunged into snow nearlv up to his knees. Further up the line the country was under a white mantle, pierced only by fence-posts -nd trees. At Balcairn the train had to wait for about an hour while a man went on foot to see that the line was all right. He added that telegraph poles were "down all over the place *' and the wires were in a terrible tangle. Iron poles had, been bent over, and hardwood poles snapped in two like carrots. The train had to stop on a bridge because a tangle of wires had fouled a ventilator on the guard's van. This was cleared away by a telegraph gang on the train. Snow 15 inches deep was measured on the platform at "NVaipara. The severest snowstorm ever experienced at Waikari took place on Monday night. On Sunday evening ,snow oommenced tofall, and from three to four inches covcred the ground on Monday morning. During Mondayafternoon the weather became much worse, and snow fell heavily during tho whole of the night. The _ average depth is about two feet, with drifts varying up to ten feet deep. Communication was completely cut off, both by train and telephone. Practically every telegraph pole between Waikari and ! Leithfield is down. The new line re- ! cently erected by the Post and Telegraph Department through the township is all lying across the road. On Wednesday afternoon an engine managed to make its Way up through tho Weka Pass. In some of tho cuttings the snow was piled up to Buch an extent that the engine could not push its way through, and a way had to be cleared by the linemen. So far there is no communication with the back country. It is feared that the loss of stock will be very heavy. The whole of the party

telephone lines recently erected by the Waipara County Council are down, and it will take some months before they are in working order again. All tho spcuting is off most of tho houses, and tho ' weight of the snow was so great that many roofs were stayed up with scantj lings. One house was in such danger ; that three men were kept busy tho j whole of Monday night on tho roof shovelling off the snow. One old lady , had to be dug out, as there were five feet of snow up against her door. An old gentleman went out to feed the fowls, and becoming tangled in a drift had to be rescued by his wife. It has thawed very littlo "and should it •>egin to thaw at all quickly, floods will be common.

j following on the snowfall reported j at Culverden on Monday, a heavy fall | was experienced on Monday night, I who a further eighteen inchos of snow iell, making an average fall of about two feet to two feet six inches. OM residents state it is tho heaviest fall experienced in Culverden to their knowledge. Trees suffered soverelv, and the ground on Tuesday was litterod with, broken branches, which, crashing dowii during the previous night, had kept those living in the vicinity in a state of wakefulness a good part of the night. A good deal of damage was also caused to buildings through tho weight of the snow tearing off spouting, breaking skylights, and in two or three instances breaking through the roofs of sheds. The Railway Department was unable to get tho trains through, and all telegraphic and telephonic communication was interrupted, as the lines wore down all over the district. Stock will bo having a rough time, though so far no reports ' regarding losses have been received. Trains were still unable to get through on Wednesday, and mails and newspapers (especially tho latter) were greatly missed. Tho weather cloared on Wednesday night and a slight frost set in. Yesterday broke fine and clear. At 1 p.m. tho train from Christchurch was noticed in the distance. It appeared to bo 'making very slow progress, and was being eagerly awaited by tne residents of the township. The farmer element was conspicuously absent, no doubt being busy attending, to snowed-in sheep. A very hard frost was experienced in North Canterbury on Wednesday night, followed by bright sunchine yesterday. Snow is still lying thick about the plains, and it will be some days before it disappears. In the higher country it is still very thick, and it will be some time' beforo settlors ascertain their losses, which in some cases must be considerable. The Oxford-Rangiora train which got through on Wednesday, was unable to get through yesterday, owing to the snow on the line having frozen. An attempt was made to jet through by motor-car, but after going about half-way this was found, impossible, so tho driver turned back. After considerable difficulty a horseman managod to come through, but Btated he would not make a second attempt. The Whit© Rock mailman couold only get as far as Loburn.

SPRINGFIELD DISTRICT ■A- Sumner resident yesterday received the following interesting note from her daughter at Springfield"Am scribbling these few lines to tell you we are absolutely snowed in. Bob has just •measured, and, in the best places, it is just one inch off three feet. It is indescribable. Wo can't see the tops of fences or hurdles, and snow is still filing, a proper blizzard. I dread to think of the deplorable loss of stock. Bob never remembers anything so bad; it is worse than the 1895 storm. He is going to attempt to get down for broad and post this. Ho may get there and ho may not. You cannot imagine our plight. It is really serious. I clujr out about 20 yards of snow, three feet deep, this morning, to get to tho wood heap, and am 'some stiff!' It looks only a fit place for Eskimos and polar bears. Our Darfield correspondent telephoned last night that a heavy frost had set- m, and there was every prosI ,e £- of a siiccession of frosty nights. • ,i° snowstorm experienced m the Waddmgton district for over 40 years sot in on Sunday afternoon, and continued till Tuesday night. The fences are well covered, indicating a • about 5J feet. As the train to Chnstchurch on Monday morning ploughed through tho snow it presented a beautiful sight. Different, however, was the experience in the evening, arriving here nearly an hour late and it was_ 2j hours before it could again got on its way. The few passengers, however, were well looked after on their arrival at Sheffield by Mr Bradley. It was morning before tho Springfield passengers reached their destination. Much credit is due to the railwaymen, who worked unceasingly in the wet and cold. On Tuesday the district was cut off by rail and telegraph. There is no doubt that there will be a very heavy mortality among sheep and even cattle. As the crops have suffered considerably from the mildness of recent winters, there is little doubt that much benefit will result from the snow through the killing of blight and grubs. Those who have been compelled to go out in the snow have in most cases gone with shovels to clear the way, and where horses have been used they are seen always in twos.

ASHBURTON COUNTY. The hardest frost for abont four years was experienced at Ashburton yesterday morning, when the water in all the side-channels was covered with a thick coating of ice. The weather was fine j all day, and thore was every prospcct of another stiff frost last night, i On Wednesday.the weather gradually cleared, only a little rain falling, and yesterday was beautifully fine. From 3 p.m. on Sunday to 3 p.m. on "Wednesday .311 points of rain were recorded. The rougn weather has 1 been welcomed by agriculturists, as the ground needed the moisture, but the pastoralists are not so well pleased with its effects on their stock. The hardest frost experienced at Methven for several years was recorded on Wednesday night. Water taps were frozen all over the township, ana water pipes broken generally. The main water-race through the town was completely frozen over, and -the ice was strong enough to carry a couple of adults. Truly Methven is in the grip of winter just now. SOUTH CANTERBURY. The weather was beautifully fine at Waimate yesterday, following a hard frost. Mr J. W. Hayes, owner of Centrewood, behind Waimate, spent the whole of Wednesday out on the hills. He reports that the snowfall is the heaviest for fifteen years, and worse than anticipated at first. Unless a thaw sets in soon, the sheep will not be able to get to the sunny faces. After a threatening of a further snow storm in the hill country, bright weather has replaced the gloomy conditions of the past week, ana all through the Geraldine district the farmers aro anxiously awaiting the moment when a thaw will again uncover the fields and pastures, and lessen their difficulties in providing for the stock. At present the lana lies under a depth of snow which varies from a few inches near the town of Geraldine to sixteen inches at Upper Kakahu, and about the same amount near Woodbury. On the open plains near Arundel the depth of snow was eight or nine inches, while twenty inches was measured on parts of the Tripp Settlement and elsewhere along tho foothills.. On the higher levels, which aro generally considered "safo winter country" about three feet of snow has fallen, and according to the owner of- one of the largest runs, it is the worst storm in his long experience. On the hill runs it is unfortunately

almost certain that the loss of sheep will be severe, and there will be employment for all available hands in the arduous business of ''snow-raking. There is the added difficulty that m the outlving neighbourhoods tho roads are nearly impassable, except m P l£ where a makeshift snow plough has been already at work, and it is now neccssarv to begin by clearing out the hill tracks, which have remained open after anv of the worst storms of recent vcars. Xs a matter of truth not one of these had been particularly bad, though "snow-raking" has nnned necessary on occasions and theclemen yof the last few winters has induced a beliet that tho flocks might rercam out safely on tho higher country, which belief is now apparently to result in a greater loss than might otherwise have been the case. Much now depends upon the length of time durin e wh'ch the snow will remain upon the ground and present weather conditions include bright sunny days with hard frosts at night.

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THE WORST OYER., Press, Volume LIV, Issue 16256, 5 July 1918

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THE WORST OYER. Press, Volume LIV, Issue 16256, 5 July 1918

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