As hundreds of families and volunteers in flood-stricken Edgecumbe work to clear houses of sodden furniture, ruined possessions and water damage, a call has gone out asking for more assistance.
Earlier this month, close to 2000 residents in the town were evacuated from their homes as water broke through a breach in the Rangitaiki River stopbank.
Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce Michael Barnett has asked that local businesses and sporting organisations help whānau in need.
“The residents of Edgecumbe are facing devastation of their homes on a massive scale. It isn’t about giving money, it’s about assisting people who are grieving from seeing everything in their homes destroyed and their properties damaged by water and silt.
Everything in people’s homes has to be stripped out. For residents it’s emotional and traumatic. They have seen a significant part of their lives destroyed,” Barnett says.
The number of volunteers has been overwhelming. They spent Easter in Edgecumbe helping the small community get back up on its feet, although they say there's still a long way to go.
“Businesses in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato able to assist could make up a team and pitch in for a half day or longer if they can.
It would make a great deal of difference, provide a moral support and be a huge contribution to getting Edgecumbe back up and running as quickly as possible," Barnett adds.
Businesses and others wanting to assist can contact firstname.lastname@example.org