Hauraki-Coromandel Post

Flooding closes roads and schools

5000 properties left without power

- Cira Olivier

Two people were rescued from floodwater­s, 5000 properties were without power, schools and roads were closed and a major wastewater pump station was damaged in wild weather hitting the Coromandel late last week.

Meanwhile, an in-home support worker was trying to decide whether or not to cross the road of gushing water to get to her client who needed her on Te Kouma Bay Rd.

The Thames-coromandel District Council reported 102mm of rain fell in eight hours, with gusty northeast winds.

Metservice had issued an orange heavy rain warning for the Coromandel Peninsula, warning that heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly, surface flooding and slips are also possible, and driving conditions may be hazardous.

There was also a strong wind watch for the Coromandel Peninsula.

In Thames, Fire and Emergency NZ received a call just after 4am Friday of a car needing assistance, and helped pull a vehicle from the water on Kauaeranga Valley Rd.

Surface flooding was affecting the Manaia area, SH25 at Te Kouma Hill and Wade Rd in Whitianga, according to social media reports.

Power was out in Whitianga and Hikuai, affecting more than 5000 properties, and there had been a failure on one of the major wastewater pump stations to the south side of Whitianga, according to the Thames-coromandel District Council.

The council urged all Whitianga residents to reduce their wastewater “immediatel­y” after the failure.

This included toilet flushing, running dishwasher­s, washing machines and showers until it was able to get the pump station operating again.

A notice to conserve water in Ha¯ hei and Coromandel township was issued on Friday morning.

The council said it was unable to run the Haheu Water Treatment Plant due to an electrical fault on the bore pump, and it was unable to pump raw water to the Coromandel Town Water Treatment Plant due to “major flooding” at the Waiou water intake.

Both instances meant the water in the reservoirs could not be treated and refilled. The council asked locals to avoid showers, washing clothes and minimising toilet flushing until further notice.

According to Powerco, there were 146 properties without power in Whangamata¯, with the council reporting the number had reached over 5000 properties in Whitianga and Hikuai earlier on Friday morning.

Victoria St in Thames was closed on Friday after heavy rain overnight caused a slip blocking both lanes.

The 309 Rd was closed due to flooding, flood damage, and a large slip blocking the road.

Tyl’a Waetford-mcgrath is a paediatric occupation­al therapist and had to reschedule all nine of her patients on Friday due to the weather.

She was on her way to Thames from Whitianga as she runs an outpatient clinic at Thames Hospital.

She made it over the hill from Whitianga to Coromandel with no problems but was stopped by multiple slips covering half of the road and surface flooding on every corner as she started up the Te Kouma hill.

“I made it to Manaia where I was met by a massive flooded area where I knew I couldn’t get through.”

She turned around and headed back to Coromandel and reschedule­d all nine patients.

Meanwhile, Kylie Corston-blanche sat in her car for minutes before deciding to cross the water gushing across Te Kouma Bay Rd on the western side of the peninsula, south of Coromandel.

Corston-blanche is an in-home support worker and said her thoughts were mainly on getting to her client, who needed her.

She has worked in the area for 20 months and had “never” seen the road in this state.

Waka Kotahi said State Highway 25 south of Whitianga was closed by the intersecti­on with Wade Rd due to flooding.

The transport agency also said that SH25 is closed by Manaia Bridge due to flooding.

Mercury Bay and Whenuakite schools were closed for the day due to the weather and associated safety risks.

 ?? ?? Flooding on Te Kouma Bay Rd.
Flooding on Te Kouma Bay Rd.

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