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Communities still cut off by cyclone

A number of rural and coastal communities in South Wairarapa remained cut-off yesterday due to slips and floods caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

South Wairarapa District Councillor Aidan Ellims said the damage was still being assessed but roads into Tuturumuri, Stoney Creek, Tora, Hinakura, White Rock, Pahaoa, and Glendhu were blocked.

Contractors were working from the Hinakura side to clear slips and repair washouts, he said.

“The council and the East Coast Rural Support Trust have been in contact with locals.

“Some people have mobile reception, landlines still seem to be working, and power has been restored.

“A lot of damage that occurred in January has occurred again, which is heart-breaking for the contractors and staff involved. It’s been an exceptionally wet year.

“The folk that live out there are resilient and well-supplied, and they’re keen to get reconnected as soon as possible,” Ellims said.

The timeline for clearing the roads depends on when the water recedes, and allows access for contractors.

Although contractors could not yet access several blocked roads, Ellims said a group of cut-off locals in Pahaoa had begun clearing the road from the other side.

“That’s an example of locals helping locals.

“We’re very lucky compared to some parts of New Zealand and hopefully we’ll be able to clear these roads soon and get these communities reconnected.”

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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