Plan­ning for more chal­lenges

Taupo Times - - ØX 9#Ś -

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.

TOM LEE/STUFF

Civil De­fence and home own­ers clean up in Na­tional Park af­ter the Tor­nado.

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