Slips, floods, chaos for Porirua, again

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

Porirua suf­fered ma­jor flood­ing that left com­muters stranded, shut schools and gen­er­ally caused chaos in the west and north of the city last Tues­day.

Com­muter chaos started early on Tues­day morn­ing as slips in Pare­mata and a flooded Plim­mer­ton round­about slowed, and even­tu­ally stopped, traf­fic.

Roads were closed as fur­ther slips and flood­ing in Tawa, Plim­mer­ton and op­po­site Whenua Tapu Ceme­tery on SH1 threat­ened houses and made driv­ing dan­ger­ous.

Res­i­dents in Pau­ata­hanui said the flood­ing was the worst they had ever ex­pe­ri­enced and SH58 was af­fected for many days fol­low­ing,

Com­muters were told to stay in Porirua and Wellington un­til at least 8pm when con­trac­tors hoped to clear slips.

Acts of kind­ness were recorded all over Porirua as neigh­bours helped one an­other, emer­gency ser­vices went above and beyond the call of duty, food was given out for free and vol­un­teers turned up to di­vert mud­slides and flood­ing.

Porirua City Coun­cil gen­eral man­ager of pol­icy, plan­ning and reg­u­la­tory ser­vices James Jef­fer­son said there was not as much rain as there had been dur­ing pre­vi­ous storms.

But a king tide and a num­ber of slips ham­pered ef­forts to keep roads cleared.

‘‘This was my first ma­jor event as a con­troller and I felt well sup­ported by our part­ners like WREMO, po­lice, Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and oth­ers. These are re­la­tion­ships that have stood the test of time,’’ Jef­fer­son said.

Porirua Mayor Mike Tana said a re­view would be car­ried out next year on the flood­ing re­sponse as part of the coun­cil’s long term plan­ning.

He was glad Porirua got off rel­a­tively un­scathed from the flood­ing.

Af­ter speak­ing with busi­nesses on Mon­day af­ter the earth­quake, he had had a cup of tea with a res­i­dent on Tues­day and they watched her drains fill up dur­ing heavy rain.

‘‘With the earth­quake and then this weather, it was a test­ing time,’’ Tana said.

‘‘It was a learn­ing ex­er­cise for me and I tried to add value where I could.’’

He said so­cial media had a big part to play dur­ing the emer­gency and he hoped for a co-or­di­nated coun­cil re­sponse on Face­book and Twit­ter the next time some­thing hap­pened.

PHOTO: VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

Chaos at the Plim­mer­ton round­about.

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