Topics: Environment, Weather

Major clean-up underway following Whanganui floods

By Wepiha Te Kanawa
  • North Island: West Coast

A major clean-up is underway in lower parts of the North Island, following what the Horizon District Council says is the worst flood ever to hit the Whanganui River.

Emergency services are at the scene and many roads have been re-opened, but rural areas are being assessed and that hasn't stopped Whangaehu locals, located south of Whanganui, from beginning the clean-up. 

This is the extent of the damage Whangaehu locals are dealing with.

Mark Pirikahu of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Apa says, "This morning schools from around Whanganui, in the Ngā Wairiki and Ngāti Apa area turned out to help families in need."

Silt filled the home of 65-year-old Pauline Tahau who lives with her two mokopuna.  Everything but the walls and the pictures hanging from them were destroyed.

"It was completely damaged by the flood from the Whangaehu river, all of her things were destroyed, everything in her home, my heart goes out to her," adds Piriwiritua Rurawhe of Ngāti Apa.

Locals have been using the Whangaehu Hall as accommodation because many of their homes have been destroyed.

"They are all pretty shocked, and lonely because she told me that she isn't sure where she will go now, most of the Ngāti Apa and Ngā Wairiki tribe is here," says Rurawhe.

A $4,000 relief fund has been allocated to whānau in crisis by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Apa.

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