Heavy rain strikes again

Mayor Church and Councillor Gaylor assess damage to Ringawhati Rd bridge.
Mayor Church and Councillor Gaylor assess damage to Ringawhati Rd bridge.

The district was hit last week with the second extreme weather event in just over a month. Although it was less severe than our last event and we fared better than our neighbours further north, there was still surface flooding, slips, dropouts and other road damage to deal with.

The areas of Ōtaki most affected were Ōtaki Gorge Road which sustained several slips and part of Ringawhati Road which got washed out causing damage to the structure of its bridge and a nearby water main. Repairs have been carried out.

Ōtaki Community Board chair James Cootes, who was out and about helping people over the weekend, says some Ōtaki residents were concerned about flooded paddocks.

“However, where stormwater pipes reach their capacity, we try to divert the secondary overflow along roads and into paddocks rather than people’s houses. Our priority is to protect homes.”

Council staff and contractors worked tirelessly out in the elements clearing slips, repairing roads and assessing damage or helping people in one way or another.
The Emergency Operations Centre was also activated late on Friday until Saturday afternoon, along with council’s call centre.

“I’m very grateful our conscientious and caring staff worked hard throughout this event to help our community,” says Councillor Penny Gaylor.

“I’d like to remind people that if they need help in such events they should call 296 4700 or 0800 486 486 to get through to our call centre or keep an eye on our Facebook page and website which are regularly updated.”