Planning for more challenges
FRANCES FERGUSON Ruapehu Civil Defence and other agencies have undertaken a comprehensive debrief on the devastation caused by the cyclone and tornado weather events this year.
Ruapehu Emergency Management Officer Nick Watson said that while the overall response to both events went well there is always something that can be learnt.
‘‘The debrief process is a ‘warts and all’ look at what we did well and what could be improved upon with the objective of organisational learning and helping to ensure we respond even more efficiently and effectively next time.’’
Watson said that while both events were considered small in Civil Defence terms they caused major damage and disruption to the communities placing significant demand on council staff and other resources.
The March 7-8 cyclone caused multiple large slips, destroying farm fencing, tracks, culverts and district roads. This required assistance from the Council to fly in water tanks, culverts, food and other supplies to affected areas where necessary.
Major slips also trapped over 100 tourists at the Blue Duck lodge at Whakahoro on the Retaruke River which needed to be evacuated by helicopter.
A number of families were made homeless when the April 10 tornado tracked along a narrow path in National Park causing significant property damage.
Infrastructure recovery and response costs of both weather events is estimated to be in excess of $1 million.
Civil Defence and home owners clean up in National Park after the Tornado.