Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Assessing the snow damage

Lovely snow fell in the Tararua ranges on Sunday night. Everybody was driving up the mountain to take photo's, build snowmen and let their kids play in the snow. But on Monday afternoon snow started falling in the lower parts of the country, where we were at the foot of the Tararua's and also in town (Palmy is only about 15 metres above sea level). A rare occasion.

It was really nice to experience this and seeing our little house covered in snow, looked so cozy. But all this time I was very worried about the trees. At that point there wasn't really anything we could do (except maybe light up fires in containers between the trees and spreading the warmth, as suggested by a worried friend - not a bad idea!).

But alas, I went out this morning to access the damage and found that a number of the trees snapped in half. :-(  This is really very sad, but what can you do. Gerry and I spent a good deal of time carefully relieving the little trees from the worst of the icy weight. Fortunately it's a lovely sunny day and most of the ice on the trees should be gone pretty soon. The snow layer on the ground will probably take a bit longer. If you stand quietly, you constantly hear the ice falling from the trees, letting little streams form. Everything seems to be coming alive in the sun!

A report in the local newspaper confirmed the freak snowfall in Palmy:

"For the first time in almost 80 years snow fell in The Square in Palmerston North. The temperature plummeted to -2 degrees Celsius overnight, and the MetService said the bone chilling conditions were here to stay for a few more days.

NIWA was unable to confirm when snow had last fallen in Palmerston North. The last recorded snowfall in the city the Manawatu Standard could find was in an Evening Post article of July 4, 1934, that recorded "a very light fall''.
Standard Memory Lane author Tina White said the only snowfall on a par with yesterday's she knew about in Palmerston North came in 1904. On August 4 that year a large snowman was made in The Square."


One of the broken Manzanilla's.

The sorry site that greeted us this morning.

:-( :-( :-((((((. !!!

Carefully removing the worst lumps of ice/snow.

A lovely sun against the slope will hopefully quickly clear away most of the snow.

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