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Emergency responders caught in cyclone chaos

Emergency responders in Tinui are among the many residents whose properties have been devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Fire and Emergency [Fenz] Wairarapa group manager Craig Cottrill confirmed yesterday that a member of the Tinui Volunteer Brigade had suffered significant flooding damage to their house.

He said support was being offered to the brigade member, and a visit was planned to their property last night.

“It is likely that other personnel have been impacted by the cyclone, but we are yet to gain full situational awareness. That process is underway now.”

Cottrill said Fenz deployed extra resources to Wairarapa on Wednesday night in anticipation of the forecast heavy rain.

He said one of the additional three 4×4 vehicles and crews was directed to Flat Point, east of Carterton yesterday on a reconnaissance mission, while another was tasked with surveying the area around Hinakura and Pahaoa in South Wairarapa.

Cottrill said the third crew and a Masterton-based ute helped the army transport groceries and other essential goods into Tinui and Castlepoint communities.

He said Fenz was also assisting Wairarapa’s response with FireMapper, an intelligence-gathering tool that allows crews in the field to upload data and photos that can be viewed by Fenz in real-time.

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Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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