Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Ill wind blows residents some good

A bit of bad weather can be a bit of good fortune for some Rotorua residents with free firewood on offer - but only if you are quick.

Rotorua District Council staff and contractors are still in clean-up mode after the weekend's wild weather but fallen trees can be turned into free firewood for lucky locals.

According to the New Zealand MetService, Rotorua suffered from wind gusts up to 85km/h on Saturday and up to 57km/h on Sunday.

Castlecorp general manager Mike Davies said staff had been kept busy cleaning up trees and branches reported to them on the weekend and attending new call-outs for fallen trees reported this week.

"We do get a lot of follow-ups later on, especially a day or two later when we go out to tidy up.

"Some trees we can't touch due to insurance claims, when trees from reserves have fallen on someone's house."

Mr Davies said that since Saturday crews had been cleaning up a large gum tree which took out power lines on Sala St, a willow tree that landed on a garage and fence in Pandora Ave, a tree on Uta St, which also damaged power lines, and some minor tree damage on Hall Rd, Reeme St, Pullar Place and at the youth centre on Te Ngae Rd.

He said clean-up crews would often leave fallen trees that they had cut up on the side of the road for locals to pick up and take home for firewood.

"It's not advertised but the word gets around pretty quickly. It saves us a lot of time having to cart it all away and lets us get on with other jobs."

He said if the wood was still there after a few days they would come and pick it up.

Mr Davies said locals who had council-owned trees come down should get in touch with the council so workers could come and remove them.

Contact the council, phone (07) 348 4199.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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