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‘Traumatic’ times for Tinui locals

“Traumatic” is how Tinui residents have described the past few days.

Lisa Shelton, a Tinui local, said Tuesday’s flood is the worst the town has experienced, while others compared it to the 1991 flood, in which 350mm of rain fell in 48 hours.

Shelton said flood waters have washed through at least 20 homes, and many residents have been evacuated.

“People have been without power and road access, although everyone’s lives, as far as I’m aware, are fine.

“But there have been some pretty serious events on the farms and stock losses, and just a general traumatic experience for the village people.”

A Masterton resident who went to Tinui to deliver supplies said the area was in bad shape.

“There’s silt everywhere, we were cleaning out a garage and it was up to 10cm deep in mud.”

Shelton said the Tinui community has been shocked by the scale of the flooding and how quickly water levels rose.

“We were warned for wind, and we were warned for water, but we weren’t warned for water of this extent.”

Shelton said the water level had reached the height of the bar in the Tinui Cafe and Bar.

One elderly woman had to be rescued from her house by a dinghy when floodwaters surrounded her home.

The woman, who lives alone, had been yelling for help out of her window, Shelton said.

“There’s a lot of upset people.

“We spent all of Wednesday just trying to find people and console them.”

There had been a lot of lost livestock, Shelton said, with many animals drowned in flood waters. Farmers had moved stock to high ground in anticipation of the cyclone, but the high ground wasn’t high enough.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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