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Great Floods in Hawke's Bay

AN EASTER GALE.

GREAT DAMAGE DONE. RAILWAY COMMUNICATION INTERRUPTED. PASSENGERS BY TRAIN HAVE A LIVELY EXPERIENCE. Early yesterday morning heavy rain began to fall, and a perfect continued all day to 9 p.m., weather cleared somewhat. OloTesidents of Hawke's Bay declare they never experienced so consistent a downpour, not even at the time of the '94 great floods, which hundreds have cause to remember. Yesterday's gale was quite unexpected, as on Thursday night there were signs of fine weather for Good Friday. In the early morning, however, all the lowlying parts of Hastings were under water, and much inconvenience was experienced by families living on the lower grounds. The deluge continuing, preparations were made in many instances to lift the furniture, &c. The chaunellings were not sufficient to carry off the storm water, and the drains becoming blocked placed many householders in rather an unenviable condition. Locomotion was only possible by boats, carts, expresses, &c. As the day advanced and the storm still continued, the gravest anxiety was felt for those living in proximity to the rivers, which were reported as raging torrents. With the continued deluge of rain even the main street in Hastings became flooded, the water in places covering the footpaths. The main drains became blocked and the surface was damned back to an alarming extent. At 9 p.m. the rain ceased, but it was some hours before the flood waters fell in the upper part of the town. The inhabitants on the low-lying parts adjacent to the Havelock road spent an uncomfortable night, the water steadily rising, until at daylight it was several feet high in some of the houses. Boats were brought into requisition and horsemen lent valuable assistance getting the women and children from the flooded-out dwellings. The river at Havelock is a roaring torrent and fears are entertained for every bridge that span it. Mr W. J. Stack's cottage was surrounded with 6ft of water, his family of seven being rescued at midnight. Mr Stack loses a'very valuable piano. Yesterday afternoon a two-roon>ed cottage came down the river, passing under the Havelock bridge. The force of the water can bo imagined when it is stated a concrete culvert at Havelock was moved away holus bolus.

WORK OF RESCUE

At 8 p.m. news was received that Mr Walls' family in Railway road were in danger—that it was pitiable to hear the cries for assistance from women and children living in that vicinity. The cries were heard in town and Mr Cashion was the iirst to arrive at Mr Walls' house. On attempting to cross to the house the culvert was swept away and he went out of sight, but ultimately succeeded in swinging on to a raft where ho remained for about an hour. The next to arrive was Mr Charlton on horseback, and later on Constable Butler and "Mr Harrison arrived with the racecourse boat, and worked well in the saving of stock. Mr S. Tong arrived on the scene with Mr List's boat which was brought down in one of Beecroft's expresses. Walls' family of nine, including a young baby were safely brought out in the Rob Hoy. As the water was -lift deep and running strongly the rescue was a plucky one. Messrs Charlton, Langley, and Cashion had -in The meantime formed rafts and saved most of Walls' stock, but still he is a heavy loser. Too much cannot be said in favor of the rescue party and each man worked as if his life depended on it. The unpretentious old flat-bottomed boat usually paddled about on the lake at the racecourse, has, by this flood, become historic. Mr J. Coglan, assisted by Constable Butler and Mr Harrison, put the dingy on board an express and started for Mr Walls' residence. A raft manned by Messrs Charlton and Cashion was responsible for the transhipment of stock from Walls' to the railway line. About midnight the boat was carried to the eastern side of the. town. It had now became apparent that the water was rising quickly in tfrat locality as it was breaking over the railway and rushed with great rapidity to the lowland-. The boat and craw arrived in time to rescue several f;i-ti!!i' - h!,<i wt iv •'landing up to their armpits in water. A -ad ■•LL'bi \\ t-i \vitnf--ed on arrival .it 8.-rrv'- hou-i-, where a yormi: girl had to b- takui from la r lied of -ick--lU- and tmti-bipjh 1 to the express. Sh> i»* still in a serious condition. Uii account of having no proper oar-s attach. d r i the l» .at the work of h.tndlin-.? h<-r \v.is dirh, >ilt. e.-p,-eially when :hi ib- '-vi- r.i'.'in:' at it- h-igbt. Con-tab!* B \J. - r- Charlton. llamsoß. ar.d Pilm-r manm-d the craft, »h.l»- Mr f. -tnoJ l\ with an express ,md i-.irt.-l -O'ltsfte < { f- opi- t'j dry ii.nl. Th-'S<- »Ih ■a irk.d th-' U-i: ni" : N trm-n the - f'sr iff.:? -pb-ndid • :T'>n-. A*. * the rr.w w-rv com-i-.iltd *.' i v.vin. a-hon m onb r to make f..r wn .ind children. M----* 5. H :r.:. Larii.'.->. an I <V-<hion w-r r-n-.1 v t-n.*ig'd ndin-'mto -sibi.i. rc- i f". -i k!!•'•-< an 1 rv-cumjf * ver.il fa-:;.!.5.- ".'J tfc-.ir hor- and *.:p t<> :h*-.r n-ek. in v. it. f fr- m * o'clock lav n'-'ht tw. diw.,*bt tiit-! m-.ins.ntr. Th- r. u- r» » ».- i;r>-atiy fiolitiJ.d i>) thu<jyai;o'bt Sievtrji tfUicCi, whu-y

names we v :ia«>lo to ascertain, rendered as-! The horsemen experienced - considerable difficulty by being vivi ; : ■ to locate the wire fences, and fr j t> rdl collided with the wires. Most. h. i jne people were d riven to t'=v-r,. w-i. Ie they were housed in ,:.K - 'h:-hotelsanu boarding-houses. Mls Chariton had their houses pacl- j. aid made all the flood-stricken people as comfortable as possible, going as far as to give their owa private room to some of the chiidreu, some of whom were wet up to their neck. While there were many willing workers, special credit is due to those above. Constable Butler, assisted by Me-srs Tong, Charlton, Pilmer, Coghlan, Langley, Harrison, Cash ion, -J. Hunt, and others were engaged all night rescuing families on the fiat, saving the occupants of at least forty ixsidc-occs. Every man of them working like Britons, and were in the water from 8 p.m. till 7 o'clock this morning. There were plenty of willing hands but only two boats. The water continued to rise all through the night. About 1.80 this morning the work of rescue was extremely dillicult as a heavy gale sprang up, and for a time the boat was unworkable. The flood had by this time been convertel into a rough sea, and repeatedly broke over the boat and almost swamped it. Messrs J. Hunt nnd C'ashion rescued several children by riding into the residences on horseback, and at one particular spot the horses had to swim for about one hundred yards. Mr and Mrs Dunn were also rescued in this manner. An old couple, 70 years of age, named Riar, were rescued by Mr Langley. A number of persons were rescued from Quinnis' house, a two-months old child being carried out with its mother on horseback. When the rescue party arrived at Cammock's residence all the the occupants Mrs C'ammock and six children —were in a bad state, Mr C'ammock was away from town. They were all standing in the water in a half perished condition. Several other residents in the same localitywere in a similar plight. DAMAGE IN LOW-LYIXG PARTS In dive street the Hood was much in evidence. The water began to rise early yesterday morning, and it was far from pleasant for some families who spent the day on tables, ivc., watching the rise of the water, and knowing that there was already Ift. to sft. outside, with a probability of a further rise. Mr Tom Lincoln's house soon had the water inside, and to escape the rising ilood —after piling up all available furniture and getting on top of it —he "had to cut a hole through the ceiling and get through with his family on to the top joist. A boat arrived at 1 o'clock this morning, but Mr Lin- „ coin decided to remain until daylight, when all were rescued. The next-door neighbor, Mr Rich, also fared badly. Mr Rich is a newcomer in the district, having only been here about five months and. although the house he occupies is built somewhat higher than the rest, the water broke throughtat about midnight, and kept rising until the family were rescued in the small hours of the morning with only just the clothes they had on, and drenched to the skin. The boat sailed over the sft. paling fence in front of the house. Only one broad expanse of water was to be seen in the moonlight, with the partially submerged buildings dotted about here and there. Mr Rich at the time of writing is likely to be a considerable loser if the water keeps rising as he has from to £BOO of drapery in his house. Seeing the water rising he packed the goods as high as possible from the floor, but at the time he left the house the water had just risen to the 'lower-most goods. lie intended starting business at Havelock shortly. The people next door, Mr and Mrs Heutz, also suffered greatly and had to be taken away in a boat. Their bad luck pursued them for they had to make a second shift during the earlyhours of the morning, with the continued rise of the ilooiT, the house at which they had taken refuge was in danger of being flooded and had to be abandoned. The hist boat-load saved contained three Chiunamen. When fairly on board the boat capsized and the Celestials were passed into the tide. They were rescued after a ducking. The Riverslea road is under water to depths varying to 8 feet. The culvert on Murdoch Railway road is almost washed away, making the road thereabout very dangerous. Every family from Murdoch road to Puflbrin street has been flooded out, women ami children leaving in the , racecourse boat. Fears are entertained as to the safety of the Haveiock bridge, which - is reported strained, with the river running bank high. The bridge at Paki Paki over the Awanui Creek has been washed a Rav, which gives rise to the belief that the Kgarororu burst at the embankment . boilt some 20 years ago. If this proves t> he correct further heavy aamage is certain to be reported. Several narrow escapes from drowning have been reported. _ jXCIPESTS Of THE FLOOR While Mr T. Jones in charge of a meat-cart was perambulating the flat this morning the U'hitle capsized. The driver snccet led in cutting the horse clear, but had some difficulty in scrambling to a fence, where he was located until rescued an hour and a half afterwards. Mr E. 11. William* had an expertence with a horse v>►* (.h hi wits driving. Tin animal \ l lin lyins* down, placing it: ur r in an awkvr&rvi pmlicameut.

RAILWAY COMMUNICATION. When yesterday morning's express ; left lla-ting-5 there were close upon 1 2-jO passengers aboard, including many i holiday-makers, pleasure-seekers, and ' a team of athletes from Napier. On i arrival at a point between Paki Paki I ;uid Poukawa it was found that the ; rails had been washed away, and the ! train bad to remain there until instructions had been received from headquarters. The wires were down, and consequently there was considerable delay before worJ was sent along to return to Hastings. At G.iiO p.m. the train arrived, and there was a tremendous rush for restaurants and and hotels, some of those- aboad being almost famished. They had practically had nothing to eat all day, except a few fish, which were cooked on the engine. One gentleman more c-our-r.g-'ous than the rest went out with his gun hoping to bug a few birds, but was unsuccessful. On a search for more food being made a barrel of hot cross buns consigned to " Pickering. Te Auto." was found, but as the train bad by this time arrived in Hastings it was not considered necessary to broach the contents. It is certain they would have sold at a large profit. The lady passengers were in a pitiable condition, the experience being far from a pleasant one. The express from Wellington to Napier, which was also reported to be crowded, got as far as Makotuku and being nnabie to proceed further returned to Palme rston. The line between Napier and Hastings is reported to have suffered considerably, the bridge at the Waitaugi being greatly damaged. All railway traffic north and south of Hastings has been stopped, the lines being under water both ways. There is a washout of about 2"> chains long north of Paki Paki, also another 1 chain long and Hft deep. The foundations of Longlands bridge are shaken. The railway authorities cannot say when communication will be resumed, but every endeavor is being made in that direction. HAVEL O C K. From Havelock to Paki Paki is one mass of water. The Te Aute Road is impassible at Mr Harveys, and settlers in Pukehu have had a severe time. Messrs E vision and Buick near Louisa bridge had to leave their houses in which there was several feet of water and take refuge at Mr Doyle's. Several tons of debris have been depasited against the south side of the Havelock bridge and many willing volunteers helped to relieve the strain. However, the bridge is still in considerabel danger. Messrs Donnelly and Thompson had to be removed from their houses and put up at the Havelock Hotel. • A heifer, the property of MrEvison was seen making a gallant struggle against the waters early this morning, and after a long effort succeeding in reaching land iu a weakened condition. LOSS OF STOCK. The loss of stock is tremehdous, the settlers in all directions losing heavily. Mr Williams lost 700 sheep in one mob. On the flat scores of of sheep, pigs and cows were seen floating about. Mr W. Cridgman is a heavy loser. All the settlers in the low lying parts of the town are heavy losers. It is said that Mr T. Tanner, of Riverslea, has lost over 1000 shrcp. AT OMAUU The bridge was washed away at 2 30 yestvrday afternoon. The approaches and everything else have all gone. All the Natives have left the Pah, almost all the whares being washed away. A most pitable sight just before the bridge was washed away was a grey horse coming down the river. -The water being over the bridge at the time he dived right under and got through safely. There is an enormous amount of damage to crops, fences, <tc., and thousands of sheep must have been drowned. All the residents of Fernhill were compelled to leave their houses and make tracks for the hotel, that being the only plaee not under water. Two Maoris were washed off their horses getting Sway from the Pah, but whether they were drowned or not cannot be said. ('LIVE. ("live is under water, and a traveller who got through to this mornin? reported that in the lower parts of the township only the tops of four houses are to be seen. Communication with elsewhere has been completely cut off. Great loss of ,-tock is reported. The tlood waters extend from \\ oodend towards Clivc as far as the eye can reach. At 10 o'clock this morning an observation of Clive was taken from Mr McLean house with a telescope and the result is certainly serious, and from what can be made out several houses are washed away. TOMOAN A Is also covered with water, there K ing over four feet on the bridge, Communication is consequently stopped with the Napier side, so that the damage to the railway cannot yet be ascertained, but the authorities are certain that a nurabt r of washouts have taken plaee. N.1»..n l-r. -i. sheep at this side of the river are safe but the safety of 1"..»X»0 sheep belonging to the >ari.e t;r:u at Chesterhope is gravely (].:■ -tor'd. Mr -u-t.l this afternoon : r:nu '- v r.nni- rof doo 1-bound I f-oonle to his \ chicles.

; MARAEKAIvAHO. ! | Mr J. Riprger, driver of the mail coach arrived hoiv uc 1.1 p.m. in a trap. He reports the roads in a terrible condition, the water in many places coining up to the splash board. A considerable amount of damage was j done in and ar.-.iurl Mar.iekaki.ho, , thousands of jrmn.'is worth of stock i being lost and houses cvet turned by the waters. So far there is no intelligence of loss of life. LATEST. At 8.80 this afternoon the Ngarororu river was still rising, and boats had to be brought into requisition to rescue families who had reckoned that the flood could not possibly interfere with their comfort. FLOODS AT WAIPAWA. WAIPUKURAI' RACES POSTPONED. [l3y Telegraph.] (/-Vr Picks Association.) Waipawa, This day. The heavy flood yesterday scoured the piles at the south end of the railway bridge The trains cannot cross. All the low portions of the town are flooded. The Waipukurau races have been postponed.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

Great Floods in Hawke's Bay, Hastings Standard, Issue 299, 17 April 1897

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2,874

Great Floods in Hawke's Bay Hastings Standard, Issue 299, 17 April 1897

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