One of the worst storms on record hit Wairarapa on 1 October 1934. Nicknamed ‘the big blow’, it toppled trees, smashed windows, and demolished buildings. One wit recounted that it ‘blew everything away except the mortgage’. Temperatures climbed to 32°C, adding to everyone’s discomfort, and flooding followed. The Waipoua River raged through Masterton streets. The Waiohine River also overflowed, letting a 2-metre-deep torrent run onto the plain. Stock losses were considerable. These men are attending to a horse and milk cart that have been blown over.
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