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THE WEATHER.

THE EFFECTS OF THE GALE. RAILWAY LINES BLOCKED. SERIOUS DAMAGE. ON SKOBS. It has become quite the customary thing of late years to usher in the Easter seasou in this district with a first-class gale, the effect of which is to harass the shipping and railway services, worry municipal authorities "and townspeople by turning things topsy-turvy, and creating chaos in an otherwise well - regulated community, besides spoiling people's holidays and their tempers. The present Easter weather will hold its own with previous years in point of violence, bltakness, and general discomfort. The comparatively mild southerly wind of Thursday morning had developed into a strong gale by evening, and yesterday it occupied itself in beating the previous day's record, which it did easily, and at the time of writing was still going strong, though with diminished force. Drenching showers of icy-cold rain accompanied the wind, something over 6 inches being the fall for the 48 hours expiring at half-past 9 o'clock this morning. About town the chief effects of the storm are to be seen in the wet streets disordered by vagrant vegetation and odds and ends of various descriptions, levelled hoardings and fences, and here and there an errant chimney-pot. Some interruption was caused in the Telephone service through the wires getting in contact, and flood water accumulated in parts of the town, but as far as could be ascertained to-day did no serious damage. Several heavy landslips have occurred in the Ngahauranga Gorge, and the Hutt River is in flood, but not sufficiently high to cause damage to property. The train service on the Government line between "Wellington and Eketahuna is interrupted, owing to two heavy slips, one about three miles and the other about four miles north of Mauriceville. Ballast trains and workmen have been despatched to clear the obstructions, but the work will probably occupy some days. Trains are running as far as" Mauriceville according to time-table. Full particulars as to the state of the damage are not obtainable, as telephone communication is interrupted. A portion of the ballasting inside the stone wall at Ngabauranga has been washed away by the force of the heavy sea, but the damage is not in any way interfering with the service, beyond compelling the use of the loop-line. The Porirua River, which is crossed by the Manawatu Company's line, was in high flood last night, and covered the line in one part, but fortunately did no damage, and the "daily service is running as usual. The Manawatu and Otaki rivers are also reported to be bank-high. The rainfall recorded by the Museum authorities for tbt 24 hours ending at halfpast 9 o'clock yesterday morning was 3*03 inches ; and for the 24 hours ending at 9*30 this morning 304 inches, or a total of 6"07 inches for the 48 hours. The horizontal movement of the wind,was 700 miles for the 24 hours up till 9.30 to-day. "With the exception of a few fences blown down, and the iron being stripped fromashed, no serious damage wa» reported from Petone. The low-lyin»f portions of the borough are flooded by stormwater, which in places is running across the footpath. The main culvert of the drainage scheme, which is ! now carried to the end of Nelson-street, is, however, rapidly carrying it off. An unfortunate horse that had been left out in the storm was noticed this morning in front of the Petone Railway Station, apparently dying from exposure. Information which reached Mr. Ronayne, General Manager of Railway's, this morning goes to show that the damage to the railway lines in the Northern districts is of a serious character, and will have the effect of paralysing traffic in some parts for a time. The telephone wires are down everywhere, and in consequence the authorities are seriously hampered in working trains. In addition to the two heavy slips previously mentioned as having occurred near Mauriceville, a long stretch of the line is under water at Kopuaranga, but, as the tram was able to plough through it this morning, no serious effects are anticipated unless the rain continues^ The midday train to Wellington from Mauriceville to-day arrived punctually to time. Wellington passengers to Eketahuna by last night's train were compelled to spend the night at Mauriceville, but were sent on to their destination this morning by Mr. T. E. Donne, the Traffic Manager, by vehicles. Strenuous efforts will be made to restore communication with Eketahuna by Monday. In the Manawatu Gorge two small slips have fallen across the line, but as a very much larger slip is threatening between No. 1 and No. 2 tunnel, it is considered unsafe to let trains pass. One of the approaches to the Pohangina Bridge — from which it will be romen^bered the late Resident Engineer, Mr. Lawson, was drowned some months back — 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 of an extensive character. Yesterday a train ran into a slip at Goat Valley tunnel, but escaped without serious damage. Around Feilding (as reported by telegram elsewhere) the line has suffered severely, the damage including the washing away of part of the Aprangi bridge, the fracture of a pier of the Wangaohu bridge, and the flooding of the line for half a mile about the Wangaehu station, where it was reported at last advices yesterday that the water was still rising. A still worse mishap, involving heavy loss, is the was-hing away of six spans of the Rangitikei bridge, only one span being left at each end. All the dolphins are reported to have gone, and great damage has been done to the river bank. On the Napier section the centre pier of the Takapau bridge is washed away, and a | very considerable portion of the northern part of the line is under water. A worse feature — at present happily only an anticipated danger — is the rising of the lake at the top of the Te Aute grade. The water threaten! to break bounds, ia which case

very extensive damage must occur to the railway line and surrounding property. AT SEA. "Those who remember Easter of 1895 will doubtless fully appreciate the effects of the southerly gale at s>ea. On Thursday night, and throughout the whole of yesterday and this morning, the harbour was covered by a mass of loam, and almost completely obscured from the shore by a dense fog. The signalstation authorities at the Heads declare that the sea running at the entrance to the harbour this morning was heavier even than during the famous storm of two years ago, and eclipsed anything of the sort they have witnessed in that vicinity for many years. The waves were breaking right across and throwing their spray high above the cliffs. The gale has completely upset all shipping arrangements, and the plans of the Union Steam Ship Company to suit the convenience of its Easter patrons have to a great extent been prevented from execution. The discomfort of those travelling in such weather may well be imagined. The looks of those who lauded by the Talune from the South this morning spoke more eloquently than words. So far no serious danarer has occurred to the shipping, as mariners would doubtless seek shelter from the gale along the coast. TheTutauekai and Takapunagotout all right on Thursday night, . but both steamers had a lively tossing up before they were clear of the head sea. The Rotomahana for South, Anglian for Napier, and Hesketh for Weslport also left port on the same evening, but were unsuccessful in clearing the Heads, and the erstwhile greyhound of the Union Company's fleet, as well as the other vessels, found it necessary to anchor iv ~\Yorser Bay until the storm moderated. The Rotomahana remained there until 7 o'clock yesterday morning, when Captain Gibb determined to have another try to reach Lyttelton. The steamer, however, must have made only slow progress, as when Captain Phillips, of the Taluue, came up to her at 10.40 a.m., the Rotoiuahaua, was then only about 10 mile* south of the Heads. The officers of the Talune saw the Rotomahana again about 6 p.m., and the Southern boat was still making a brave j but not altogether successful effort to steam against the gale. It is likely that the Rotomahana would make for Cape Campbell, and remain there until the wind and sea moderated. This morning the Anglian 'and Hesketh were still in Worser 13a}', aud from present appearances it is unlikely that Captains Hood and Black will make a start until the gale eases down. The Anglian has a large number of passengers on board, and their chagrin at being detained for so m»ny hours is naturally great. She returned to port this afternoon, to enable Captain Hood to ascertain the state of the weather up north, on which point,- however, no information is available. It was also found necessary to take in an extra supply of fresh provisions. 'Ihe steamer will sail as soon as the weather moderates. On Thursday afternoon the Aorere left the wharf with the idea of making Patea, but three hours later she returned to port, Captain Tinney being perfectly satisfied that his steamer was hardly powerful enough to contend with the raging elements. The Ohau from Lyttelton and the Wak,atu from Kaikoura both had pretty lively experiences on their trips, but reached Wellington on Thursday afternoon in time to escape the worst effects of the gale. Natutally the small steamers in port have to suffer a period of detention, and from present indications there is every probability pf the coasting small fry remaining in harbour for a day or two until the gale blows over. It is impossible to glean any information as to the movements of vessels on the coast of this Island, as all communication is interrupted, the wires being down. The Mahinapua was to have left New Ply- ! mouth at noon yesterday, but supposing this lo be the case, the odds ar6 decidedly against the steamer reaching port to-day. It is unlikely ' that Captain Robertson would make any attempt to round the Cape until the weather slackened off considerably. The Herald, 92 hours from Westport the Charles Edward, 58 hours from Nelson , the Manaroa, 53 hours from Havelock ; the Omapere, 31 hours from Westport ; and the Tyser carrier Hawkes Bay, 46 hours from Wanganui, all bound to Wellington, have so far not put in an appearance, nor are they likely to until the storm abates. The Charles Edward was to have been utilised for a four days' oruise to the Marlborough Sounds;- while the Manaroa was announced' to leave for Picton this evening on ai{ excursion, and with the officials of the Championship Regatta. It is certain that the private party who intended spending their holidays in the Charles Edward will nave to sacrifice the venture. There is a probability— a slight one— of the Manaroa reaching Wellington this evening. A «nsation was caused in town yesterday by a report that the intercolonial- liner Talune, Captain Phillips, which left Lyttelton at 11 p.m. on /Thursday, had gone down off Kaikoura. What reason there was for publishing so startling a report without proper foundation it is difficult to surmise. Some of the stories afloat were of a bloodcurdling nature, but fortunately thej r are proved unfounded. Captain Phillips, of the Talune, is one of the most skilful aud experienced commanders in the U.S.S. Company's fleet, and has an able lieutenant in Mr Wald. They brought the vessel through without mishap. Mr. W. A. Kenned3 r , local manager of the Union Company, and Mr. J. Holliday, chief clerk, had many anxious enquiries to answer yesterday, and both the»e gentlemen courteously took all the necessary steps to reassure anxious friends. At 9.30 o'clock this morning the big steamer 'was in sight, ajid a large crowd assembled on the wharf to witness her arrival. The' steamer left Lyttelton at 11 p.m. on Thursday night, and had very fine weather until nearing the Kaikouras. At -that period it came on to blow with hurricane fojjce, and a nasty sea. quickly got up. The steamer was about five miles off the Heads at 11.20 a.m. yesterday, but Capt. Phillips having run his distance, and it being impossible to see 500 yds ahead, he determined to put the ship's head to the southward and keep clear of all danger. At 12.30 this morning Captain Phillips turned the steamer's head for Wellington, but on again approaching the Heads found the fog' as thick ai ever. At 2.30 a.m. the cautious skipper, finding it was impossible to get a glimpse of the land or lights, for the second tira« 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 snugly berthed at the Queen's Wharf. Cnpt. 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 oflicers and men on the trip. Thero were 300 people on board the Talune. Captain- Phillips states that the sea is not so bad as yesterday morning, but is still running very high. Mr. W. 11. Blacklock, Traffic Manager of the Union Company, was a passenger by the Talune, and is perfectly satisfied as to the roughness of the trip. Shortly before 2 o'clock this afternoon the Union Steam Ship Company received a telegram from Cape Campbell stating that the Rotomahana was running there for shelter. A later telegram from tho same place states thai at 2 o'clock tbiV afternoon the Rotomahana was runnin" for Port Underwood, thero being (*- ...uch sea for her to anchor-at Llic Capr We were inf< ned ] io signalmen at the Heads this .<t£ that the swi and l Yfiad / tad iliglii' ,~*A iv force.

THE TELEGBAPH LINES. Extensive damage has be'en done to the telegraph lines. The line north of Otaki is down, but there is communication with Palmerston by the wire which branches off at Olaki. "Tho lines to Napier, the Wairarapa, Taranaki, Auckland and Wanganui, are aUo down, but urgent messages are being sent to the last named place, 03' cable via Wakapuaka. There is only one wire left between Blenboim and Christchurch, and only urgent telegrams can be sent to the South. The line between Wellington ''and the Upper Hutt is also interrupted. AMONG THE YACHTS. The yacht Jennie Reid, belonging to Mr. John Black, broke away from her moorings at Thorndon last night, and beached herself close to the old baths. A hole has been knocked in her side, and she has also sustained other damage. The Waiwetu, which is owned by Mr. J. P. Maxwell, parted her moorings off the Thorndon Yacht Shed about the same time, and dritted on to a sandy patch at Kainarra, but escaped damage. Mr N. Anderson's j'acht Siren, which was also anchored at Thorndon, filled during the night and sank, only the upper part of her masts being now visible. Several smaller yachts in various parts of the Harbour also sank at their moorings during the height of the storm. THE UNION COMPANY'S AEBANGEMENTS. The local office has been compelled to draw up fresh plans for the time-table running of its steamers, but the officials do not guarantee any certainty as to its fulfilments owing to the state of the weather. At noon there was no sign of the Penguin at Picton from Nelson, and the weather is described as very dirty and thick in that quarter. Her Lyttelton trip announced for to-day has been abandoned, and, whether required or not for the Picton trip on Mondaj% she will sail at midnight on that day for Lyttelton. At 10 a.m. on Monday the Omapere is to sail for Lyttelton, while the departure of the Mahinapua has been put off until V a.m. the same day, when she proceeds direct to Nelson. Passengers by the Mawhera are notified that her departure has been postponed until 4 a.m. on Sunday. The local office wish particularly to draw the attention of intending passengers to these and other alterations as set out in the time-table. The Union Co. has just received new» that the Penguin has arrived at Picton from Nelson, and is to sail at midnight for Welhugton. She reports the Taupo and Omapere at anchor in Waitui Bay, the Janet Nicol, Rosamond, Hawkes Bay, and Charles Edward at anchor under Long Island, and a red-funnel steamer in Port Gore. The Penguin's officers report a heavy gale and thick weather. * OTHEE STEAMEES. The steamers Waihi, Aorere, Wakatu, Opawa, and Ohau will not leave Wellington before to-morrow.

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Bibliographic details

THE WEATHER., Evening Post, Volume LIII, Issue 90, 17 April 1897

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2,812

THE WEATHER. Evening Post, Volume LIII, Issue 90, 17 April 1897

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