Harvesting crews help with flood clean-up
WHEN THE FLOODWATERS RECEDED, HARVESTING crews were among the first to pitch in and help clean up the East Coast mess left by the Queen’s Birthday weekend storm and heavy rain that hit again the following week.
The priority was to remove logs and slash that had built up against and flowed onto bridges behind Tolaga Bay and clear roads.
The two rain events made much of the land too sodden to use heavy machinery and it will take some time to clear the debris from paddocks and around affected homes.
There is also the question of what to do with the wood and slash, with most to be gathered in piles to dry and then burned.
The devastation also prevented a number of crews being able to resume work in the forest for several days after the storm, with many roads closed from a large number of slips on council and forestry roads.
Access to a number of forests north of Gisborne was cut off for more than two weeks, as up to 600mm of rain fell across both weather events in places.
Iain McInnes, Chairman of the Eastland Wood Council, which is coordinating forestry’s response, says: “We met with the local council and made our crews available to help clear the roads – the extra rain made the situation even worse than the initial storm.”
Crews from Ernslaw One, PF Olsen and Hikurangi Forest Farms were all involved in cleaning up the mess and helping to open up roads in the region.