With droughts, floods, hail and snow there’s been altogether too much weather this year.
North Otago wasn’t as hard hit as many other areas, but it was bad enough.
We had only about half our normal rainfall in the year to the end of March, a few showers in autumn then more than half the annual average fell in three days in May.
It kept raining off and on through winter but then it stopped and didn’t start again. By last week we had only one wish for Christmas – a decent rain.
We got it on Monday – more than 30 mls which was enough without being too much.
Holiday makers wouldn’t have found it as welcome as farmers did and further north there was far too much for everyone:
Farmer Paul Storer said the flooding on the farm, which he estimated to be between one and six metres deep at different points, was “within six inches” of the farmhouse.
The house had also lost part of its roof, and water was flowing in.
“We’re absolutely stranded. We can’t go anywhere. We just have to sit tight.
“I’m just watching half a ton of baleage floating past the house – that’s how much water we’ve got.”
The worst of the rain came overnight, and he had not slept, he said. He moved all his cows to the cowshed at 5am.
“They’re all sitting in the cowshed together in about a metre of water.”
Mr Storer said five other neighbours on his side of the river faced similar conditions.
“It’s ruined our season. The whole farm will be silted up. All the food I’ve got stacked up will be ruined. And it’ll take out all the fences as it goes through.”
Some have lost stock too:
Federated Farmers’ Golden Bay president, Graham Ball, said several farms lost much of their herds. One farmer lost 100 heifers and another lost 70 cows.
Mr Ball said power has been lost to the valley for up to two days, creating animal welfare problems for cows that cannot be milked.
Looking back on the good, bad and ugly of the year the weather has definitely been in the latter category. Dare we hope that next year will be better?