Heavy rain makes its mark in a hurry
It was ’’business as usual’’ at The Upper Hutt Leader on Monday, January 30, two working days and a busy weekend after the Fairfax newspaper office was flooded and forced to close.
The central ceiling of the PIne Ave office collapsed under the weight of water and the entire office floor was drenched as a consequence of Wednesday evening’s intense heavy rain.
Large parts of the city received up to 20 millimetres of rain in several minutes.
There was flooding on many suburban roads and a number of CBD commercial buildings were affected including a number in The Mall, Maidstone Countdown supermarket, the Pet Centre and the Monterey Cinema.
More than 100 filmgoers had to be evacuated from the four-screen Montery complex after the foyer ceiling collapsed and fire alarms were set off.
‘‘We had a lot of damage but we were lucky in the sense the water came in through the ceiling there, not the back office or in the cinemas themselves,’’ manager Jason Kelman said.
‘‘We had a full evacuation with people leaving by the fire exits after the screenings stopped and an announcement was made in each cinema.’’
Montery was up and running from lunchtime the next day after a resetting of the alarm while the unlucky filmgoers will be able to use tickets kept from the night in the future.
The Mall manager Grant Burns said four retail premises were affected in the main complex as was the nearby Pet Centre.
‘‘We believe the storm started up with hail and that blocked the drains ahead of the rain coming in so quickly. We also had water in some of public areas so the decision was made to close The Warehouse early.’’
Roof tiles at Maidstone’s Countdown Supermarket fell down and shopping aisles were flooded.
‘‘We closed the store straight away [and] cordoned off the affected area,’’ duty supervisor SarahMae Thom said.
The sudden downpour targeted Upper Hutt exclusively, MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray said. Data showed a southerly front rolling through and delivered the brief and heavy rainstorm after clashing with heat rising from the ground in Upper Hutt.
Up to 12mm of rain fell in 10 minutes. ‘‘Even in an hour, that would be considered heavy rain,’’ Murray said.
A sudden storm caused flooding in Upper Hutt
A flooded Upper Hutt Leader office.