Cyclone Bola

In 1988 the road to Waerenga-O-Kuri became the road to nowhere. Cyclone Bola hit the Gisborne district destroying or damaging many farms. It was a devastating blow to all the farmers. A huge landslide at the local quarry blocked the stream causing it to form a five kilometre long lake which ended up being called Lake French.

By the quarry the roads were taken out and giant lumps of tarseal were scattered everywhere. Cars were stranded on hills and roads. If you wanted to get to town you had to go the long way back through Wairoa and back along the state highway.

The lake was named Lake French because the local store owner Mr Peter French had a boat and he delivered supplies to the stranded farmers and their families. Soon people started relying on him very much to take their kids to school and drop off their mail. Slowly the land returned to farmland and roads were rebuilt or repaired.

By Harry Y5 and Toby Y5