Topics: Flooding, Natural Disaster

The Edgecumbe floods: one year on

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

More than ten families are still waiting to return to their homes one year on from the Edgecumbe floods.

Judy Turner, deputy mayor of the Whakatāne council says, “I know that there's still a number of families that have yet to get back into their homes and that's been a very long year for them.

"It's also a time to celebrate that a community can recover, even from something quite disastrous as this, and full credit to Edgecumbe- I think they have demonstrated some great resilience”.

A church service was held in one of the worst-affected areas this morning.

Twelve homes on the street have been demolished.

Meanwhile more work is still being carried out after the Rangitaiki river breached a stop bank and flooded the town.

Kylie Provan, who organised the service, says, “I think we all had a sense of shock- I think shock horror practically- for those affected.  I wasn't and I was one of many from many organisations to help out”.

1,800 residents were evacuated during the flood and 15 homes were deemed uninhabitable. 

A further 250 houses suffered from flood damage. 

Lorraine Hale and her family are the lucky ones. “One week after the event we came back here to see the devastation from the flood we stood here and we cried,” she says.

A community gathering will also be held tomorrow afternoon to commemorate the anniversary.