Weather systems sweep over the country, mainly from the west. In 2004 the strongest February westerlies in over 60 years blew across the lower North Island. Roads were blocked by slips and fallen trees, hundreds of people were left homeless, farmland was covered by silt and water, rivers breached their banks, stock drowned and bridges were damaged. The cost of the devastation exceeded NZ$100 million. Watch footage of people returning to their muddy homes once the flood waters had receded.
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