2 Feb 2018

Weather: Heavy rain, 4m tides swamp Nelson

From Morning Report, 7:24 am on 2 February 2018

The Nelson region was battered on Friday by large four-metre tides, causing damage to roads, the waterfront, the airport and local businesses. Residents in low-lying coastal areas around Tasman Bay in the Nelson region were evacuated as the storm surge breached the usual high tide mark and rolled through homes and businesses. Properties in Nelson city, Mapua and Ruby Bay were flooded by the large waves while pockets of Golden Bay were also affected when the sea rose up over roads.

The region has woken to a calm, clear morning and will now be assessing the damage. Nelson reporter Tracy Neal tells Morning Report of her experience.

"They're all now severely damaged. The word is that the popular Boatshed Café is shutting for good, but supporters of the Boathouse, supporters are already rallying and planning a rebuild after the waves just exploded underneath these buildings and tore up all the floor and decking around them.

"The yacht rigging area around the yacht club actually looks like it's been in a very significant earthquake. The sea has basically come through underneath, undermined everything, punched through massive concrete slabs, just pierced gaps, holes in it and tossed them like a deck of cards, it's unbelievable that concrete that heavy could be strewn about. I've seen storm surges here but I've never seen anything like what happened yesterday."