16 evacuees stay in 2-bedroom Waihi Beach home

By Sonya Bateson

Helping flood evacuees was something Tara and Lee Wynyard felt they had to do.

The Waihi Beach couple spread out mattresses in their large living room space "marae style" for 16 evacuees from the Top 10 Holiday Park.

With all the flooding-related incidents in the town, Mr Wynyard decided to go down to the local fire station to lend a hand and helped cook meals for the crew while they were in between callouts.

Mrs Wynyard said they had moved to the area last year and her husband was in the process of joining the fire brigade so he jumped into action when he heard the sirens going off.

"He then rang me later that night and said we've got some people coming over. I put the jug on and got some food ready to help make them feel comfortable, then all these people then turned up. We've got two bedrooms and a big living space, even with lots of mattresses everywhere, so we spread them all out like a marae. It was pretty easy really."

It was the first time they had that number of people staying.

"It was quite exciting having people come and stay in a time of crisis, they were quite thankful."

They both arrived at the holiday park early yesterday morning to help with the clean-up.

Evacuation went without a hitch

Evacuating from their holiday park wasn't how a Papatoetoe family wanted to spend their weekend.

Jane Carson and her extended family were staying at the Waihi Beach Top 10 Holiday Park when they were told to evacuate to avoid being caught in floodwaters.

The family had been staying at the holiday park while they took part in the Nugget Multisport Festival in Waihi.

"We had been sitting in our unit watching the water rise in the creek. it got to the stage where we could see it splashing against the sides," Ms Carson said.

To get out of the camp ground, Ms Carson and the other family members in her unit were helped across a bridge in the camp with a rope to make sure they weren't swept away by the strong current.

Ms Carson said the fire brigade and the camp ground owners had been brilliant. "They were all calm, there was no drama."


- Bay of Plenty Times

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