Big flood clean-up begins
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.
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.