Edgecumbe evacuee Cathy Gifford-Jones was remonstrating at the cordon to be allowed to check on her home when the Prime Minister arrived.

"We have no water or anything at our place, we just want to make sure it hasn't been looted," she implored.

Mrs Gifford-Jones said she had brought proof of address and she lived within 100m of the cordon zone.

Edgecumbe evacuee Cathy Gifford-Jones was remonstrating at the cordon to be allowed to check on her home when the Prime Minister arrived.
Edgecumbe evacuee Cathy Gifford-Jones was remonstrating at the cordon to be allowed to check on her home when the Prime Minister arrived.

A former Christchurch resident, she has seen her share of natural disasters.

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"I've come from Canterbury, we've been through all those earthquakes and I'd rather go through that again than a flood," she said.

She and her neighbours were worried earlier in the day but had been given no cause to be alarmed.

"We could see the water coming up yesterday and we were a bit worried.

"I didn't know people were being evacuated. We didn't hear a thing. My sister called from Christchurch and said all of Edgecumbe was being evacuated."

Bill English discussed the plans for pumping the remaining water out of Edgecumbe. Photo / Stephen Parker
Bill English discussed the plans for pumping the remaining water out of Edgecumbe. Photo / Stephen Parker

Mrs Gifford-Jones could only watch on as Prime Minister Bill English arrived with East Coast MP Anne Tolley MP were taken through the cordon zone with members of Civil Defence and Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne .

There, they discussed the plans for pumping the remaining water out of Edgecumbe.

A boat was parked on the footpath outside a petrol station where the water had risen yesterday.

The street was littered with gravel and plastic bags filled with rubbish that had swept out from houses.

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There was a street where water was flowing like rapids. Water marks up to the windows on the outside of the houses revealed just how high the waters had run.

Surveying the devasting, the group were then advised by Civil Defence tthere had been a further breach of the river.

A flooded house inside Edgecumbe. Photo / Stephen Parker
A flooded house inside Edgecumbe. Photo / Stephen Parker

They told Mr English they were worried for his safety and the group were urged to get back to their vehicles.

Evacuating began anew at Gow Road on the west side of the Rangitaiki River n.

Westbank Road was already closed due to the flooding and water levels were within centremetres broaching the stopbank.

For residents, such as Cathy Gifford-Jones, the waiting will continue. All that appears to be changing is more residents are joining them on the ouside of this overwhelmed township.