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Downpour has fire brigades rushed off their feet


Featherston supermarket on the main street. PHOTO/GRACE PRIOR

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Biblical flooding had Wairarapa fire brigades rushed off their feet, with the region’s brigades responding to more than 20 weather-related emergencies.

Emergency services responded to two drivers caught out by surface flooding in South Wairarapa on Tuesday.

Martinborough’s fire brigade responded to a crash on Lake Ferry Rd at 7.50am where a driver hit water, spun out and crashed through a fence.

Police said there were no injuries or blockages after the crash. Flooding on Wood St in Greytown also trapped a driver.

Greytown chief fire officer Steve Meyrick said the water was not especially deep, but it had stalled the Mercedes in the middle of the road.

Meyrick said all six of Greytown’s calls yesterday were in response to weather emergencies, citing leaking roofs and flooded properties.

“There is a lot of water around. I emptied 80mm of rain in the gauge [fallen since Saturday], and there’s been another 30 or 40mm today.”

Water leaking into Carterton’s Marquis Hotel had both Carterton and Greytown brigades in attendance around midday after setting off an alarm in the building.

Carterton chief fire officer Bryan Styles said the crew responded to five more weather-related calls, including flooding endangering properties on Ashfield Rd, Madison St,
Hereford Dr, and Thomas Rd.

He said pumps were used to ease rising waters on Ashfield Rd.

Styles said support from the Remutaka Rural Brigade in the afternoon was directed to sandbagging properties on Thomas Rd that were in danger of being inundated.

Masterton fire brigade attended at least 11 weather-related emergencies on Tuesday.

Masterton fire officer Doug Flowerday said there was only so much the brigade could do to ease flooding while the rain was still falling, but the brigade was an extra pair of hands for concerned residents.

“It can be very hard to pump. You have to wait until the water stops flowing.

“But we’re helping lift valuables, and we’re out there reassuring people.”

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