New Zealand Farmers Frustrated as Cyclone Lusi Fails to Deliver Promised Rain

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | March 17, 2014 1:02 PM EST

Cyclone Lusi was just all wind and howl. But no rain, to the frustration of New Zealand farmers who badly it need for their crops.

"It definitely turned into a wind event primarily, although there was some localised flooding in the Coromandel but nothing beyond what they handle fairly regularly," Lee Hazlewood, Waikato civil defence emergency management group controller, said.

Children run in the heavy rain
Children run in the heavy rain while carrying a Syrian opposition flag (L) and a flag in Ukraine's national colours after a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and against Russia's intervention in Ukraine's political crisis, in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus March 14, 2014. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

"The rainfall was a blessing but I think everyone would have liked a lot more, particularly in central areas."

While it did brought reasonable rain to the north-eastern North Island, other parts of New Zealand were also in need of it such as western Northland, Waikato and the south western North Island.

"The east coast got some reasonable rain again but not the west coast, Pouto Point only getting about 5 millimetres," Julie Jonker, rural support trust co-ordinator for Northland, told Radio New Zealand.

Hitting the top of the North Island late on Friday, Cyclone Lusi trekked down the country to Wellington and the South Island overnight.

"I think some farmers will seriously consider drying their herds off and further destocking will happen as the rain didn't eventuate as planned," James Houghton, Federated Farmers spokesman, who had hoped to receive at least 80 millimetres of rain on his farm, said.

Mr Houghton's farm received only a measly 10 mm rainfall.

Will Foley, Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay president, said that while drought isn't at the severe stage yet in their area, "it is becoming a bit of a worry because we are well into March and April is approaching - we would like to build up a bank of feed for the winter."

On Saturday, the Takapau Plains received 18.8 mm of rain, Hastings had 8.4 mm and Napier 6 mm. Wairoa received a meager 1.5 mm over the 24 hours from 11 am Saturday to 11 am on Sunday.

"We got a wee shower, that's all," Tim Allan, Wairoa District Council emergency manager, told NZ Herald. "We would have welcomed a mild cyclone coming through because we need the rain."

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(Photo: Children run in the heavy rain / )
Children run in the heavy rain while carrying a Syrian opposition flag (L) and a flag in Ukraine's national colours after a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and against Russia's intervention in Ukraine's political crisis, in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus March 14, 2014. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
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