Thames-Coromandel flooded

By Mānia Clarke
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

In Thames-Coromandel, the worst of the storm has passed over, locals braced themselves for high swells due to a king tide that was further fuelled by strong winds today.

The king tide peaked at around 10:40am today, however, New Zealand Transport Agency made the call earlier to close the State Highway 25 Thames-Coast Road at 10am, due to the swells spilling over and onto the coastal road and for some locals it was the highest swells they'd ever seen.

Drive at your peril. The usually serene Thames-Coast road is anything but.

Mike Paul from Higgins Hamilton NOC says, “The tides all up, all the streams are coming into the sea, banked it all up and it's all coming over the sides of the road, pushing all the logs and every debris that's coming out of the water, they're putting it up on the road.”

 Two local siblings have lived on the Thames Coast road for up to 25 years, the waves are the biggest they've seen.

Monar Thaugand (Waikato Ngāpuhi) told Te Kāea, “I've been living here on my life and like it's never done this before. We'll like it's done this but not like fully, fully like this. This is the sort of thing that we have to deal with.”

Tawney Thaugland said, “I think it bloody looks ridiculous! It looks like a mess. Like all that stuff washed up on the beach and everything. It's going to be a mess when the waters have gone.”

The surging tide caused flooding along the Thames Coast road, including homes in Tararua. However, road maintenance services were out advising travelers of the dangers.

Mr Paul says, “Just stop. Check the road conditions, because it's all, everybody's telling you on these big VMS boards on the side of the road.”

However, the locals are well accustomed to the mess from stormy conditions that regularly hit the area several times a year and they've learned to cope.

Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie says, “So we make sure that gutters are clear, drains are clear. That person are sort of are aware of that. Colvets are clear, NZTA, of course, has to look after its state highway.”

The heavy rain warning has been lifted over the region with the wind expected to lessen this evening.