Cyclone Bola passed through the Wairoa township, peaking on the 6th and the 7th of March 1988, severely flooding many areas, lifting roofs off buildings and uprooting many trees. Cyclone Bola caused more than $3.5 million ($5,960,000 2008 dollars) worth of damage along a 20-km stretch of coastal South Taranaki. The first bridge was built in 1888 and damaged in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake. Many living along the river front were also evacuated when the swollen Wairoa river threatened Wairoa properties. All text licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence unless otherwise stated. Chapter 2   Disintegration & Destruction  -  The collapse of the Wairoa Bridge and all Service Utilities. Cyclone Bola was one of the costliest cyclones in the history of New Zealand, causing severe damage as an extratropical cyclone when it passed near the country in March 1988. The bridge crossing the river is the third to be here – the last one was swept away by Cyclone Bola in 1988. The central span of the bridge across the Wairoa River was washed away. 25 Mar 1988. Photos illustrate far more detail than words ever could. $1.2 m ($2,040,000 2008 dollars) of production was lost. All photos are the property of Wairoa.net and are not for distribution. © Crown Copyright. The countryside already sodden started flooding with no where for the water to go. Wairoa has an attractive shopping centre alongside the river. Wairoa is a town of 4,000 people in northern Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.. The cyclone first affected Fiji, where it produced gale force winds and strong waves. Cyclone Bola passed through the Wairoa township, peaking on the 6th and the 7th of March 1988, severely flooding many areas, lifting roofs off buildings and uprooting many trees. Cyclone Bola (L) lying to the north of New Zealand. At 3.20am on Tuesday the 8th of March a Civil Emergency was declared in Wairoa and the fire siren sounded across the township. In 1988 the road to Waerenga-O-Kuri became the road to nowhere. One of the worst cyclones to reach New Zealand was Bola, which hit the north and east of the North Island on 7 March 1988. Cyclone Bola was one of the costliest cyclones in the history of New Zealand, causing severe damage as an extratropical cyclone when it passed near the country in March 1988. The central span of the bridge The bridge crossing the river is the third to be here – the last one was swept away by Cyclone Bola in 1988. Cave was president of Gisborne-Wairoa Federated Farmers when Bola struck. Chapter 8   Memories & Recollections  -  Personal stories and recollections contributed by our Readers. Rain in the headwaters of the Wairoa River caused the biggest headache for the town of Wairoa and its neighbouring farmers in the aftermath of Cyclone Bola. We also hope when the Wairoa people read this page it will bring back memories they will be willing to share and especially old photos they may have tucked away. Storm damage was heaviest in Gisborne, Tologa Bay and Wairoa, where rain destroyed or damaged several roads and bridges. A total of 1,765 farmers were affected by the flooding, The central span of the bridge across the Wairoa River was washed away. Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 14.0m peak recorded flow rate = approx. Heavy rainfall totals of up to and over 300 mm were also observed in the regions of Auckland and Northland. It weakened further and was absorbed by a stationary trough near the South Island on March 12. its headwaters only 15 miles west of Gisborne. The Gisborne Herald reported that it took just three seconds for Bola to destroy the bridge over the Wairoa River. On March 4 Bola transitioned into an extra tropical storm, passing to the north of the North Island of New Zealand on March 8. Phil well remembers its impact.“We did all sorts of work but the job I probably recall best is working in the rain sandbagging the town to protect from the flood waters caused by Bola” he says. Now I can give back to the region.” CEO Nigel Pollock. In 1990 Wairoa won the last New Zealand Top Town Final in the original Top Town series and were the reigning champs until the series started again in 2009. Start. Finish. The Wairoa Jaycees Club raised £500 or NZD$21,000 toward funding the reconstruction. As the waters flow down from the higher catchment area, as shown in the map below, the speed of the current picks up momentum sweeping everything within its path along the swollen rivers into the basin funnel - The Wairoa River. The cyclone slowed as it moved over the area, resulting in over three days of torrential rain. 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