New Zealand is experiencing its worst winter weather since records began. The southern half of?
New Zealand is experiencing its worst winter weather since records began. The southern half of the North Island and the entire South Island were blanketed by snow in near blizzard conditions on Thursday (24 June).
SYNOPSIS: One of the most spectacular effects was when this Union Steamship Company freighter ran aground near the capital, Wellington. The ship broke its moorings as gales drove in from the Pacific Ocean. It veered across the harbour and grounded on a sandbank with the stern jammed against a section of the wharf.
The southerly wind also caused severe damage in Wellington. It ripped the roof off this school and caused extensive damage to several houses. High winds prevented workmen from carrying out repairs.
In central and southern parts of the North Island, snow caused acute problems. It cut electricity supplies, closed schools and resulted in large stock losses. Around Mount Ruapehu, motorists were stranded on major highways. Workmen cleared tons of snow in below-freezing conditions to open the roads. Phone links in various parts of the country were also cut.