The day it snowed in The Square


We’ve just shiv­ered through an­other chilly win­try week, but this time five years ago it was even colder.

It all started on Mon­day, Au­gust 15, 2011. In the af­ter­noon, the first few flakes fell in Palmer­ston North.

Then more fell, and then more. They kept com­ing un­til the city was cov­ered.

The Square be­came a win­try won­der­land and of­fice work­ers and school pupils wan­dered around in the sur­real gloom.

Roads were cov­ered and there was the odd power cut as lines sagged un­der the weight of their chilly and un­known cargo.

Next morn­ing, the city awoke to the rare sight of snow, ev­ery­where.

And it wasn’t over. Falls were recorded un­til 9pm on Tues­day night.

The cold blan­ket­ing Manawatu meant frozen rem­nants re­mained well into the week­end, even as the sky cleared.

It wasn’t fun and games for ev­ery­one, how­ever, as many roads were closed and power cuts in ru­ral ar­eas lasted longer than the mi­nor in­con­ve­niences in the city.

The falls sparked in­tense de­bate about when it last snowed in Palmer­ston North.

NIWA couldn’t say. News­pa­pers re­ported a light dust­ing in 1934, while in 1904, enough snow fell for snow­men to be built in The Square.

Anne Tapoa said she re­mem­bered see­ing snow in the city in 1973 one evening when she re­turned home from housie.

Sam Kearins 14, and Georgia Ran­dle, 14, walk through the snow­fall in The Square.

Sam Brooks-Bowen, 12, and Fer­gus Bird-Madi­gan 11 in the snow near the Globe Theatre.

There was enough snow in The Square to build snow­men.

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