Yesterday it was panic stations, and for good reason. Cyclone Cook was forecast to hit pretty much all of the North Island and it was expected to be the worst storm in over 50 years.
Thursday morning the supermarkets were full of people filling up trolleys with supplies and preparing to batton down for the Easter Weekend. In Auckland CBD the storm threatened to close the Harbour Bridge and offices were emptying as people were sent home.
We had no reason to not believe the forecast. The rain was hammering down. The kind of rain that you really don’t see often. The sea looked ominous with waves crashing around the rocks on Hatfield Beach as we drove home to Puhoi.
Then it all went calm. Eerily so. The leaves on the trees were so still but everything was so quiet as barely a car was out on the road. The calm before the storm? Everyone was waiting, the storm was due to hit land at 6pm and gusts of 150-180 kph were expected.
But the storm moved. Phew! for us anyway. It never did reach Auckland and Northland. We got more heavy rain but that was it. A different story for those in Coromandel and Bay of Plenty though where the storm tore through the region destroying homes, causing flooding and power outs. 200KPH wind speeds were recorded on White Island.
We had a lucky escape and today you wouldn’t have thought that 24 hours ago we were on alert for a massive cyclone. We’ve had blue skies so did what we now do on a blue sky day and headed to the beach. Crazy New Zealand weather!