By Emily Norman
Flash flooding washed out parts of rural Wairarapa this weekend.
Roads were closed, and property was flooded out in Carterton after a torrential downpour which caused rivers to rise rapidly.
Fire services and police were kept busy on Saturday in particular, after flash flooding threatened to wipe out the Mangatarere Bridge.
Carterton Deputy Chief Fire Officer Blaine Smith was supervising the closed bridge with several other fire volunteers from 4.30pm, and said 25mm of rain had come through over a short timeframe.
“We’ve closed the road for the general public’s safety because there’s cracks in the bridge,” he said.
“The regional council has come down to inspect the waterways and see what’s happening, but it looks like we’ll have to get an engineer’s report.”
While crews were in attendance, a shipping container was swept away by the stream under the bridge.
At 8.20pm crews were called to a property on Belvedere Rd where water was flooding around someone’s house.
A police spokesperson said the informant said the water was 1cm away from coming into the house.
Later in the night another call was made to police after a car aquaplaned on Thomas Rd in Dalefield.
Luckily, the car did not crash and no one was injured.
Thomas Rd was a detour that connected parts of Dalefield to the rest of Carterton after Dalefield Rd was closed by flooding earlier that day.
Carterton District Council Operations Manager Garry Baker said there had been “a bit of damage” to rural roads near the town’s water supply at the Kaipatangata stream but no major infrastructure had been affected.
“[On Sunday morning] I was at our sewer plant on Dalefield Rd, checking on things there and there’s been some high rivers alright,” he said.
“The Kaipatangata Stream by Dalefield Rd overflowed and caused the road to be closed there and there was quite a big downpour by Mangaterere Valley Rd too.
“We went and had a look in the morning and we’re just lucky all the rain was up by the hills and town wasn’t badly affected.
“Had it been down in town that could have been devastating.”
He said the town had “got off lightly” and while the rain was a good thing, it was a “shame for the community and a shame for the great Wairarapa events that were planned”.