While Whakatane deals with catastrophic flooding from what media are calling a one in 500 year event (following last week’s one in 100 year event, and last year’s one in 200 year event), the town of Dannevirke is dealing with a historic deluge of its own.*
Tracey Collins, the mayor of Tararua District where Dannevirke is located, says that the town has received exactly 17.2mm of rain at a 61 degree angle, which, being on a Thursday, marks a one in 1,000 year rainfall event.
“Certainly that exact accumulation as measured on Tennyson Street is the first time this has happened – on a Thursday – for at least a millennium,” she said, at a hastily arranged press conference this evening. “When you take into account the angle of the rainfall, of course. If you don’t, then it might look less significant.”
Collins said she wanted to make the media aware of what she thought would make a “great headline,” because it “sounds big.”
She also didn’t want the flooding of a significant portion of the town of Edgecumbe to “take away” from “what’s going on here.”
“Make no mistake, it doesn’t rain like this every day,” she said, pointing to some light drizzle out the window. “Bruce’s Volkswagen is wet.”
“That it is!” clarified Bruce, a local. “Wetter than average.”
Tararua District Council had not called for any evacuations “as yet”, but have volunteers visiting people door to door to ask them how their magnolias are doing.
Prime Minister Bill English has declined to declare a national state of emergency in Dannevirke, but says he is “monitoring” the situation.
Collins accepted that, saying she was “pleased” someone was paying attention and “listening to me speak.”
This news comes after Greymouth Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said his West Coast town was also bearing the brunt of ex-cyclone Debbie, with Greymouth experiencing a challenging one in several days event.
*Good news! If you still think it should be written “an historic” then you may qualify for a sickness benefit, and should consider speaking to Work and Income.