Search on for scores of pets left behind during storm

By Bernard Orsman


A pet rescue operation was under way last night to find animals left behind when people fled the tornado.


A 14-strong Civil Defence response team of trained volunteers entered the cordoned-off zone to search for scores of cats, dogs and other pets.


Auckland Council Civil Defence boss Clive Manley said a number of residents had no choice but to leave their pets behind and the response team, supported by SPCA officers, went back to collect pets and reunite them with their owners.


The forecast for severe weather overnight had the potential to create further problems for people affected by the tornadoes and storms.


Wind gusts of up to 100km/h and intense rainfall were due to hit Auckland at midnight.


Mr Manley said there would still be a lot of debris and tree material around and drivers in particular should take extreme care on the roads. An inorganic rubbish collection in some parts of the affected area had added to the debris. People should avoid driving in the affected areas if at all possible, he said.


Mr Manley said the council believed all those needing help and temporary accommodation had come forward, but if anyone still required assistance they should contact the council.


A team of about 30 council building inspectors will resume work today assessing damaged properties.


Auckland Mayor Len Brown spent yesterday afternoon in the area with emergency services, inspecting the damage and meeting some of those affected.


"Lives have been lost, people injured and property badly damaged," he said. "Those affected and their families are in our hearts and minds."


Contacts


Damaged housing: Auckland Council 301-0101


Blocked drains and culverts: Auckland Council 301-0101


Power cuts: vector.co.nz/outages

- The Aucklander

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