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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Downpours, strong winds create havoc

 

A large slip on Moiki Rd isolated residents for several hours yesterday.PHOTO/LEE CARTER

MARY ARGUE
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Heavy rains continue to wreak havoc across the region, with South Wairarapa navigating multiple slips, flooding, and heavy swells on the coast.

South Wairarapa District council [SWDC] said it had been a “crazy winter day” reporting on road closures across the district yesterday.

A huge slip on Moiki Rd isolated numerous families early yesterday morning, blocking the only road access in and out.

Resident Lee Carter said the slip, which was about 20m long and as high as a farm fence, had far-reaching consequences.

“We have at least 14 families living in the area that have been impacted this morning with no in or out access.”

She said the new Manukawiri Way development under construction received a constant daily flow of builders.

“Some contractors were in this morning. Others couldn’t get in. For example, a digger and three water tanks were planned to arrive on site this morning.

“People are trapped in, and people are blocked out.”

Carter said residents had long voiced concern about the consequences of a slip on the one road connecting them to “the upstairs world”.

“It’s been flagged with council for a while. It’s on a smaller scale, but it’s like Hinakura all over again.”

SWDC said the roading team were “flat-out” assessing damage and clearing roads since early yesterday morning.

A council spokesperson said Moiki Rd had reopened by 2pm.

Admiral Rd, the only access for Hinakura residents cut off by a large slip, which devastated the road in May, was closed for a time while trees blocking the road were removed.

The road reopened by 2.30pm.

Cape Palliser Rd and Lake Ferry Rd between Kahutara and White Rock Roads remained closed yesterday evening.

Heavy swells crashing into Cape Palliser Rd forced closure at 1pm. The road has suffered significant weather damage in recent months.

Widespread flooding turned Lake Ferry Rd into a lake and the hills into “rivers”.

A resident trapped by the waters, who preferred to remain unnamed, described the flooding as exceptional.

“It’s out of this world how much flooding there is. The farmer across the road was in chest-deep water moving stock.

“There are rivers flowing down the hill.”

He said he was the last car allowed through from Martinborough town, but now he and his family were “completely cut-off without power”.

Another resident isolated by the rising floodwaters was anxious she would miss hospital appointments today.

Anastasia Walsh said a creek near her house on Lake Ferry Rd had risen swiftly yesterday morning.

“I went to pick up my three-year-old from Carterton. It wasn’t so bad. We weren’t gone long.”

However, on the return trip, they had stopped to help a woman who had crashed in floodwaters, and they were now trapped at the property.

“It’s going to be interesting tomorrow. I have to be in Wellington for chemotherapy and surgery by 9am.”

Walsh said the chemotherapy had already been deferred once, but if the bad weather continued on either side of the hill, the hospital was likely to reschedule.

“Deferring even more would push the process out. We will have our fingers and toes crossed it all subsides overnight!”

Rain is forecast to continue for the next six days, and heavy swell warning is in place until noon today.

According to Metservice, light showers will continue over the weekend.

The heavy swell warning at Turakirae Head to Mataikona will continue until at least 1pm today.

Waves were predicted to reach 5 metres this morning and 3.5m by midday.

Metservice said to wait at least five days before attempting to hang out washing.

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