June weather costs Western Bay $1m

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A Papamoa resident spent three hours furiously sweeping water away and building trenches to fight off the 100mm of rain which pelted the suburb on Wednesday night.

Motiti Rd resident Corina Stoian was forced to get out in the rain to try to keep the water out of her bottom floor flat by sweeping it away and digging trenches in the ground.

"All the water was rushing down the bank to our house. We had to keep fighting it."

Mrs Stoian had been living at the property about a year and had never seen flooding like it before.

"It's the first time in my life I have seen rain like that, too. I have never seen such water. The drains are too small to cope with the pressure so there was just water everywhere."

Water was still visible at a Taylor Rd address yesterday. Photo/John Borren
Water was still visible at a Taylor Rd address yesterday. Photo/John Borren

A Taylor Rd resident said flood waters entered her house through her garage and flooded the front entrance and bottom level of her house with the water rising about 60cm up the walls.

The family had to call the fire brigade to pump the water out of their home until about 11.30pm when the rain finally eased up, she said.

Another Taylor Rd resident, Andy Lyon, said he arrived home about 5.30pm to find flood waters lapping the base of his driveway. Within an hour the water had risen 30cm up the first step to his property. Luckily, no water entered his home, he said.

Pockets of heavy rain across the Western Bay of Plenty caused nearly $1 million worth of damage during June.

Photo/John Borren
Photo/John Borren

Flooding, slips, washouts, blocked culverts and fallen trees mainly east of Tauranga had kept contractors busy with downpours last week and Wednesday's rain contributed to the $1 million of damage, a Western Bay of Plenty District Council spokesman said.

Tauranga City Council city waters manager Steve Burton said the most intense rainfall on Wednesday was in Papamoa East with 100mm of rain falling. The rest of Papamoa had between 60 to 70mm while the rest of Tauranga and Mount Maunganui had between 30 to 60mm of rain.

Mr Burton said contractors were called to clear sump grates on 14 roads and deliver sandbags to six locations on Wednesday night.

"Litter and leaves blocking stormwater sumps were the main cause of surface flooding except for Taylor Rd."

Taylor Rd in Papamoa was the worst affected, he said.

"Most roads in Papamoa are designed to cope with excess water in heavy rain events, so that the water collects on the road as surface flooding instead of flowing into the nearby homes.

"Taylor Rd is a bit different because it is an older area and relies on ground soakage. There is a small pump at Motiti Rd that is designed to help move excess stormwater out of the area, but it could not cope with the intensity of this particular rainfall."

Western Bay of Plenty District Council manager of group infrastructure Gary Allis acknowledged the severe rain in the last week had caused issues along Te Puke Highway, including multiple potholes.

The council's roading contractor was monitoring the various sites daily and working to keep the road surface as safe as possible with temporary repairs, he said.

"Small holes are being sealed with emulsion to try and waterproof these areas before they become potholes."

Mr Allis said sections of highway which had been worked on this year had been surfaced with a first coat of chipseal. A second coat was planned for spring, he said.

"The first sealing coat is designed to last between one and three years when a second coat is applied, providing a fully waterproof layer. The combination of severe rainfall and high traffic volumes has proved too much for the single-seal coat. The initial seal coats have let water in, and affected the pavement under the seal."

The sections with major issues would be covered with asphalt prior to the second coat of chipseal, he said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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