Topic: Flooding

Edgecumbe residents still unable to return home

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Evacuated residents may have to wait up to ten days to return to their flooded homes. While the Whakatāne Regional Council deal with sewerage and water contamination issues, other Edgecumbe locals may have to evacuate as floodwaters flow through.

Edgecumbe residents may have to face the harsh reality of never returning to their homes.

Whakatāne kaumātua Tony Bonne told Te Kāea, “It's quite mind blowing when you see the damage that has been done I think some of these photos that will go out in the media will be the first time these resident have had a chance to see the damage.”

Evacuees are desperate to return but the Whakatāne council says that it isn't safe. 

“You think that it's another major earthquake when you see the houses you think Kaikoura is here in Edgecumbe but it's not it's a flood it's a river going through people's homes.”

From this area is where the water of the Rangitaiki fell into the township.  This is the first time media was allowed into the area to see the extent of the damage. 

Bay of Plenty Regional Council's flood manager Roger Waugh says, “We were in here till 11 o'clock last night to stop the water flowing we have now stopped the water and we are now sawing up the stop bank to secure it for on coming days and weeks.”

Major works are in place as Water levels continue to drop in the township.  Two community meetings will be held later today for Kawerau and Whakatāne evacuees.