Weather tops online stories in 2013

23:50, Dec 29 2013
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SMOKE ON THE WATER: Evidence of fire at a Sanford's cool store can be seen from Caroline Bay.
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BIRD'S EYE VIEW: An aerial view of a fire at a Sanford's cool store gives an idea of the damage.
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SIGN OF TROUBLE: A huge plume of smoke warns of trouble at a Sanford coolstore. Closer up, firefighters deal with the blaze.
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CLEAN UP: Firefighters deal with a fire at a Sanford's cool store.
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TEAM WORK: Firefighters prepare to enter a Sanford's cool store.
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WATERING DOWN: Firefighters deal with a fire at a Sanford's cool store.
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HAZE: Smoke from a fire at a Sanford's coolstore makes the sky hazy.
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TEAM TALK: Firefighters at work on a fire at a Sanford's coolstore.

Weather and crashes feature heavily in the list of The Timaru Herald's most viewed online stories of 2013.

Rain, wind, snow - even the possibility of a tornado - gave the South Canterbury region plenty to talk about throughout the year.

Fires at two well known Timaru firms within weeks of each other also created online interest. The smoke plume from a fire at a Sanford coolstore on the North Mole attracted attention from kilometres around. Meanwhile, a emergency services blocked off part of Seadown Rd when fire broke out in an Andar workshop.

Sanford fire: readers' pics
A number of Timaru people caught photos and footage of a dramatic fire at a Sanford coolstore at the Port of Timaru.
Sanford fire: readers' pics
A number of Timaru people caught photos and footage of a dramatic fire at a Sanford coolstore at the Port of Timaru.
Sanford fire: readers' pics
A number of Timaru people caught photos and footage of a dramatic fire at a Sanford coolstore at the Port of Timaru.
Sanford fire: readers' pics
A number of Timaru people caught photos and footage of a dramatic fire at a Sanford coolstore at the Port of Timaru.
Sanford fire: readers' pics
A number of Timaru people caught photos and footage of a dramatic fire at a Sanford coolstore at the Port of Timaru.
Sanford fire: readers' pics
A number of Timaru people caught photos and footage of a dramatic fire at a Sanford coolstore at the Port of Timaru.
Sanford fire: readers' pics
A number of Timaru people caught photos and footage of a dramatic fire at a Sanford coolstore at the Port of Timaru.
Sanford fire: readers' pics
A number of Timaru people caught photos and footage of a dramatic fire at a Sanford coolstore at the Port of Timaru.
Sanford fire: readers' pics
A number of Timaru people caught photos and footage of a dramatic fire at a Sanford coolstore at the Port of Timaru.

The year had light moments in online news, too. When Happy Feet the penguin turned up on Caroline Bay (complete with eye witness video), many Herald readers were quick to notice the date - April 1.

And musician Doug Blakie broke the news in Timaru in March. that Kiwi entertainer Lynda Topp would be marrying her finance.

15. Driver injured in Timaru crash [March 26]

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waihao forks hotel
WILLING HELPERS: Volunteers were ready and waiting to sandbag the Waihao Forks Hotel as the Waihao River broke its banks.
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PRECISION WORK: A digger clears debris from the Otaio River railway bridge on State Highway 1 during heavy rain in June.
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DESPERATE MEASURES: Redd and Mo Taupo, of Waimate, are determined floodwaters would not get into the Waihao Forks Hotel.
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SPILLING OVER: Cory Pennington works to clear debris as the Waihao River spills over the bridge at Waihao Forks.
waimate gorge
SAFE: Cattle in the Waimate Gorge were safe on higher ground.
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EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Waimate District Council civil defence officer Hilary Botting keeps up-to-date with the flooding situation.
scenic reserve
OVERFLOWING: The Centennial Park pond.
shirley and arthur ballantyne
BEACHCOMBING: Despite the bad weather, Shirley and Arthur Ballantyne, with grandson Patterson Huwes, are determined to take George the dog for a quick walk.
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BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY: Mark Tomlinson, of Timaru, decides against going through the ford on Waihao Back Rd.
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GONE: Bradshaw's Bridge near Waimate has disappeared under water.
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WASHED OFF COURSE: An abandonned car in a ford in Pareora River Rd during widespread flooding in South Canterbury.
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RIVER CHECK: Environment Canterbury river engineering employees John Hudson and Ben MacLeod check the condition of the Pareora River from Holme Station Rd bridge.

One person was hospitalised after a crash between a passenger car and a Coolpak Coolstores truck at a busy Timaru intersection.

14. Stormy weather on Timaru's horizon [January 16]

A MetService warning predicting rain, hail and even the possibility of a small tornado for South Canterbury caught readers' attention on January.

13. Man crushed by car in Timaru [June 11]

Despite efforts by his flatmate and emergency services personnel, a Timaru man could not be saved when his car crushed him as he was changing its oil.

12. Topp Twin to wed [March 1]

Kiwi entertainer Lynda Topp was set to marry her fiancee Donna Luxton.

11. Happy Feet frolics in Caroline Bay [April 1]

If the date on this story didn't give it away - or the giant, flat, cut out penguin - the suspect names and date probably tipped off astute readers not to take this story too seriously.

10. Password slip leaves Mayor sick [May 9]

Timaru mayor Janie Annear was left feeling "sick to her stomach" after watching a television news report in which she was filmed giving out the password to buy legal highs from a Timaru dairy.

9. Warnings over South Canterbury rainfall [June 17]

Residents were battening down the hatches and flood warnings were in place as rain continued to deluge the South Canterbury coast.

8. Warehouse blaze in Washdyke [May 24]

Less than two weeks after the Sanford coolstore fire, another company had a similar calamity, with a blaze at engineering firm Andar, which had police blocking off part of Seadown Rd to allow firefighters to deal with the fire.

7. Fire at Timaru port coolstore [May 12]

A fire in a Sanford coolstore on the North Mole sent huge plumes of smoke into an otherwise clear sky, drawing attention from people all around Timaru and prompting many to send us in their photos of the dramatic event.

6. Two crashes, then lights go out [May 21]

The lights went out across large sections of South Canterbury when two crashes within two hours of each other took out power poles.

5. Seven injured in two-car crash [June 15]

A crash involving two cars and injuring seven people kept police busy near Arowhenua Hotel on the evening of June 15.

4. Tragic death shocks club [March 30]

Temuka's taekwondo community was shocked to learn the victim of the early Easter crash was one of its most influential members, Stephen Kirkcaldie.

3. Snow cuts of parts of Mackenzie [June 20]

June gave South Canterbury torrential rains, and then "one of the wildest storms" ever at Aoraki/Mt Cook.

2. Fatal in first hour [June 29]

Police had the worst possible start to the Easter Holiday period in South Canterbury when a Fonterra worker was struck by a colleague on his way home for the long weekend. The fatality happened in the first hour of the holiday period. The driver was later sentenced to community work.

1. Road warnings in place in SC  [June 17]

Heavy rain in June had Pareora Hut residents preparing to evacuate as the Pareora River rose to near capacity. Waimate activated its civil defence headquarters and the waters took out Bradshaws Bridge on the Waihao River.

The Timaru Herald