Editorial: Help arrives again


The torrential rain over the weekend and resulting floods reminded me of the big floods of 2005.

For those readers who are new to the Bay or do not recall, the biggest floods in a century wreaked havoc and destruction on Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty on a devastating scale on May 18, 2005. It was simply mind-blowing.

I was in the Bay of Plenty Times newsroom that morning as deputy editor, putting the finishing touches to the front page when the heavy rain outside became a deafening roar and water began pouring through the roof.

It was to be a day I will never forget. We worked through the night to put together a special 8am edition for the next day, as well as the day's normal edition, and continued strong coverage throughout the week.

A state of emergency was declared and soldiers were brought in to help with evacuations.

Of course, the weekend's floods were nowhere near as bad, but still caused a lot of heartbreak for local people.

In yesterday's edition, and today, we have stories of people whose properties have been flooded - causing damage and costing money.

One of the big questions of course is how did this happen and can it be prevented from happening again?

It will be interesting to know if there were preventable causes and whether the city needs to carry out any work to make properties more flood-proof.

We are asking these, and other questions, and will bring you as many answers as we can.

My heart goes out to everyone affected - particularly the Hemingway family whose Otumoetai property on Princess Rd sits precariously above a massive slip. They've been forced to evacuate and I hope everything works out for them.

In times of need, it is heartening to know there are good people who help others. We carried one such example yesterday with Waihi Beach couple Lee and Tara Wynyard, who opened their two-bedroom home to 16 people evacuated from the beach town's Top 10 Holiday Park.

What a lovely gesture and I am sure the people they helped and the wider township will be eternally grateful. It's exactly this type of spirit that needs to shine through in times of need.

- Bay of Plenty Times

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 27 Nov 2014 21:12:03 Processing Time: 446ms