St Theresa’s feels the love
Donna McDonald knew what was coming but was powerless to watch her school almost disappear under water.
The St Theresa’s School principal had already given staff and students the day off last Monday due to the severe earthquake that rocked the region.
The following day, heavy rain was forecast and it came in hard.
More than 80mm fell in a few hours and the northern part of Porirua copped the brunt.
‘‘We knew it was going to rain, but not like that,’’ McDonald said last Wednesday.
‘‘The water was up to my thigh, I’ve never seen anything like it.’’
The deluge on Tuesday morning turned James St into a river and the school grounds and church next door were swamped.
The school grounds and courtyard were a lake and the main block was filled with silt. A PE shed was flooded.
The church fared badly, with water pouring into the main hall and the church offices. Carpet in both areas was ruined and some office furniture soaked.
Incredibly, the nave, where services are held was spared as it sits higher.
McDonald said the community turned up in droves on the day the rain came, and the day after.
‘‘The Plimmerton [Volunteer] Fire Brigade were incredible and it has just been so heartwarming to see the community.
‘‘Parents [of schoolchildren] have been fantastic and Ian [Capewell] from Plimmerton Motors was awesome.
Father Maurice Carmody said to see water pouring in from the road into the church grounds was a strange feeling.
‘‘We just could not stop it, it was a relentless tide,’’ he said.
‘‘It was incredible to have people show up and give their time to help us here.’’