Whiritoa 'wet, muddy and terrible' after 450mm of rain dumped over 24 hours

By Melanie Camoin -

The Hauraki Mayor and some of the district's councillors made their way to Whiritoa yesterday to offer assistance to the flood-stricken small community.

The group took water and food supplies to the local community and met emergency services after 450mm of rain dumped into town overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday.

"Flooding has happened before in this town, but the worry is the second lot of rain forecasted to come down [today], as we do not know when it will hit," Mr Tregidga said.

"In the 1981 floods at Waihi, the situation was similar, we coped but then a second lot of rain came down . . . At the moment, Whiritoa does not look too bad, but you never know."

 Hauraki District Mayor, John Tregidga. Photo/John Borren
Hauraki District Mayor, John Tregidga. Photo/John Borren

Hauraki District Council would be keeping a close eye on people to "make sure they are okay".

Whiritoa fire chief Mike Jacobs said the community was coping well after Wednesday's floods, which caused slips and cut the small community off.

"We all knew it was coming, this town is pretty resilient. People know what it is like, they've had it before," he said.

Flooding left the town "wet, muddy and terrible", he said.

The majority of residents expected the downpour and some left for Waihi before the rain hit.

Others stayed at home or evacuated to the local surf club after their house was flooded.

Mr Jacobs said the main concerns were not so much the rain but "the several slips and overflowing river" that caused the town to be flooded.

There has been no respite for the local fire brigade which has been facing numerous phone calls from residents.

Whiritoa fire chief Mike Jacobs. Photo/John Borren
Whiritoa fire chief Mike Jacobs. Photo/John Borren

"We have been flat out all day [yesterday] and most of the night.

"Cars going in ditches, people trying to get through town and not making it, people worrying on the phone...

"The communication network has also been pretty poor but other than that we have had no problem," he said.

The small community of 250 was yesterdaystill isolated with no phone or internet access. Some residents lost power altogether.

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