February was more exciting than needed

February was thought to finally bring summer. What it brought instead was more rain – and storm.

Cyclone Gabrielle came and moved over the upper North Island, bringing heavy rain and wind and a lot of and slips.

saw massive landslides with houses being destroyed,many without homes and lost lives. Two volunteer firefighters died while rescuing . Dave van Zwanenberg and Craig Stevens, were both tragically killed when houses toppled on top of each other, after mud and trees slid down the cliffs onto Motutara Road. They will be remembered.

Lots of roads in the area were impassable and many houses flooded.

We had no electricity for a few days and ended up cooking up a nice beef roast BBQ in the garage – it was still too wet and windy outside.

It is normal that our floods, typically in , but that it floods to such an extent for such a long time and leaves behind a layer of stinky brown mud and silt is new.

We have seen impact on the animal life as well with ducks coming now to the twice daily feed of our domestic ducks and also pukekos coming up into the paddocks – something they normally do not do.

Ziggy got sick shortly after the storm and refused to eat. When we got her into our trusty local vet, she was diagnosed with renal failure and it took her more than a week to recover. At some stage we thought we would lose her. She's back home now and doing much better but still has issues and she ended up with suspected chronic kidney disease.

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