LAGASHORE, New Zealand – The sky over the town of Lago Valley is filled with the sounds of wind chimes, clanging chainsaws and the wailing of sirens.
It is a quiet and tranquil place, but one that is about to get even quieter as a super storm looms.
The Lago Storm Centre has warned that if this weather pattern continues, the village of Lags are about to be hit by a potential wave of more than 40 feet.
The centre has issued a severe weather warning for parts of New Zealand, including the Tasman Sea, the south-west of the North Island, and coastal areas, for up to two weeks.
It is forecast the strong winds and cold, moist air will bring a wave of heavy rain that could damage homes and property.
If that happens, there is a good chance the area will be covered by a very dangerous storm surge.
And it is expected to bring strong winds, heavy rain and dangerous coastal flooding.
The town of around 400 people is nestled in the Tasman sea, a tributary of the Tasman River, which feeds the town’s main power station and a nearby beach.
It has been quiet, but with the wind and rain forecast to come, the town is now bracing for an impending storm.
“We have been very calm for a couple of days now and we’re just waiting to get through it,” says Paulie Pipp, a farmer who works at the Lags Waterworks Station.
Pipp and his wife, Annabel, have been working on a farm on their land for the past three years.
They are trying to remain as quiet as possible in case the storm hits, which could mean a return to normal farming practices.
“It’s not really a problem with us, it’s just we need to be very careful with the amount of time we put into this, and it’s going to be a long time before we can get back to normal,” he says.
“If the wind is coming at us, we have to be ready for that.”
The warning for Lags has been issued for the southern parts of the island, and the Lago River is expected in the next few days to swell, with winds up to 40 miles an hour.
The storm centre is warning people to expect heavy rainfall, with up to 25mm of rain predicted in some areas.
But Pipp says the town won’t be the only one affected by the super storm.
“It will affect the rest of the town too, the power plant and the beach.
And I’m sure there will be a lot of damage.”
The town is expected hit by waves up to 50 feet high, with homes in the area inundated.
“There will be lots of flooding.
We’re hoping for more than 30 feet, we’re expecting a lot more, but it’s not going to happen,” he said.
Residents are advised to stay indoors and keep their windows shut.
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