Network of volunteers eases pain
As the extent of damage across the Tasman district becomes clear, volunteers continue to join forces to meet the needs of the community.
Through the Beyond the Bridge Facebook Page, Melissa Girvin has been co-ordinating food deliveries to residents and volunteers in cycloneaffected areas.
A week on, she said the reality was sinking in for people whose homes and properties had been badly damaged.
‘‘There are a few fragile people out there just feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything.’’
‘‘Their properties definitely aren’t fine by any means, they can live, they have got power and water but they have got to organise insurance and it is all just a bit stressful.’’
As of Tuesday morning, Nelson Tasman Civil Defence and Emergency Management’s website reported over 550 building inspections had been undertaken to assess the safety of properties.
Five dwellings had been ‘‘red stickered’’, or deemed uninhabitable, while 14 homes have been ‘‘yellow stickered’’ for restricted use or access.
Girvin said the response to the call for help had been heartening.
On Tuesday, she posted on the Facebook page asking for fresh fruit and vegetables and within hours, a truck with produce had arrived.
‘‘The people are just so grateful, this is just one thing they don’t have to think about it.’’
Girvin said the response depended on the need in the community. They had sent out baking, snacks, meals, toilet paper and sanitisers among other things.
She estimated they were feeding up to 300 people each day.
Her biggest concern was that there were people who had been affected that she hadn’t been in touch with.
‘‘Every day I hear of somebody that has been missed and it guts me. I heard yesterday of someone that hasn’t seen anyone for five days.
As soon as we hear that we respond to it and make sure we get straight on top of it.
‘‘There are some very badly affected areas up Brooklyn Valley, the families up the West Bank have had tremendous damage, obviously Marahau, it’s is bad over there.’’
Girvin said she had been asked how long she would be co-ordinating supplies for.
‘‘As long as people need it we will carry on, depends how long it takes to clean up I guess.’’
Anyone wanting to donate food or time should visit the Beyond the Bridge Facebook page for more information.
Supplies are stockpiled ready for delivering to Gita’s affected homes.
Brooklyn Valley residents are overwhelmed with the amount of work they have to do to cope with Gita damage to their roads and properties.