Big flood clean-up be­gins

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

Two cy­clones and a weather sys­tem in­flicted a tri­fecta of flood­ing in western parts of the Waikato.

Wai­hou and Pi­ako rivers reached record lev­els in Mata­mata-Pi­ako and Hau­raki dis­tricts.

Waikato re­gional coun­cil­lor for Wai­hou, Hugh Ver­coe, said the flood­ing was the worst he had seen.

For most ur­ban areas the wa­ter had re­ceded, but many rural parts are still deal­ing with wide spread flood­ing and pond­ing.

An­drea Collins and Ade Wharawhara’s McGowan St prop­erty in Wa­haroa was un­der wa­ter over most of Easter week­end.

The garage filled with wa­ter, their freezer and its con­tents, chain­saw, mo­tor­bike, spa and wash­ing ma­chine are no longer us­able.

Collins was grate­ful the home was el­e­vated and the in­te­rior high and dry.

By Sun­day the wa­ter had sunk into the ground, but flood­ing be­gan again after a heavy down­pour early Mon­day morn­ing. ‘‘It’s got no where to go. ‘‘Our main con­cern is more rain. It can stop rain­ing for a while.

‘‘We just want the in­sur­ance sorted now. It’s just an in­con­ve­nience, no wash­ing ma­chine or deep freeze.’’

As of Mon­day, the in­sur­ance com­pany was yet to as­sess the dam­age. It had or­gan­ised for blower fans to be sent to the home.

Collins is con­cerned the catch­ment drain near her house was not main­tained.

She said it was covered in de­bris from Cy­clone Deb­bie, which she said should have cleared be­fore Cook ar­rived.

Ver­coe said the catch­ment drains were checked after Cy­clone Deb­bie.

‘‘The amount of rain we had on top of a very flooded catch­ment, has been enor­mous.

‘‘We were out be­fore Cook

For rural sup­port call 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254).

For stop­bank or other flood­scheme re­lated mat­ters call the Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil on 0800 800 401.

For wel­fare con­cerns in­volv­ing peo­ple, stock or prop­erty peo­ple should con­tact ei­ther Hau­raki District Coun­cil on 0800 734 834 or Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil on 0800 746 467. ar­rived, look­ing at mi­nor breaches, but of course the flood­ing came right over top.’’

He said there were 30 sep­a­rate breaches of stop banks and re­gional coun­cil had pumps in those places.

He was prais­ing Fed­er­ated Farm­ers, which had been proac­tively help­ing farm­ers.

It put a call out to find al­ter­nate graz­ing for 700 dry cows from a Paeroa/Tahuna farm.

He said at least two farm­ers out­side the area of­fered to take them.

‘‘They are giv­ing prac­ti­cal help as op­posed to re­gional coun­cil that is deal­ing with the flood­ing it­self.’’

He said Wai­hou River had a bet­ter stop bank pro­tec­tion scheme than Pi­ako.

PHOTO: REXINE HAWES

Amelia Collins-Wharawhara stands in the wa­ter which sur­rounded her fam­ily’s home on McGowan St, Wa­haroa.

Left: Lyall Con­der snapped this photo of wa­ter creep­ing through the gate of his El­iz­a­beth St home. Right: Wa­ter sur­rounded Ni­cola Simp­son’s home on Smith St.

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