(ETH) – A freak “once-in-500-year” storm just struck New Zealand’s Northland after an unusual interaction between two low-pressure zones caused intense storms on July 17th. According to a report from the Watchers, stated that the worst affected was Whangarei, where emergency services responded to more than 220 calls.
“This is just diabolical for our people. We’ve gone from drought to dealing with a 1 in 500-year event. Unbelievable,” Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai said. According to the report, the storm dropped 8.6 inches of rain on Whangarei and was deemed “greater-than-500-year return period,’
The worst of the storm produced 1.9 inches per hour. Several gauges exceeded 9.8 inches of rain in 24 hours, including over 5.9 inches in just 4 hours at Whangarei Aero and 2.2 inches at Kaikohe in just 1 hour. Whangarei officially recorded its wettest July hour on record between 20:00 and 21:00 LT on July 17, with 1.5 inches.