A Kāpiti Coast family is heaping praise on a neighbour for turning up with the pumps that saved homes from floodwaters overnight.
Kerry O’Connor, who lives in Ānaru St near the Wharemauku Stream in Raumati, said the flooding was the worst he had seen in 14 years in the neighbourhood.
“It’s been pretty stressful. It’s been a couple of millimetres from entering the house. We’re lucky to have such a great neighbour – he’s a real hero,” O’Connor said.
Peter Smith, who owns a rental property in the adjacent Titoki Rd, turned up with a couple of pumps to help clear the water from their low-lying property on Monday.
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“Last night he turned up at about 5pm. He was out there until about 1am … and he’s back in there first thing in the morning,” O’Connor said.
Smith said the area was identified on council plans as a flood-prone area.
“About lunchtime [on Monday] I realised this is not looking good. The problem was water flowing up through valves [in drains] from the river. The valves should’ve closed, but they didn’t.”
Smith said he was able to borrow a pump from a contractor and decided it was a good time to buy a pump himself. A little later the council brought a third pump.
“It’s a very tight little community here. Everyone just pulled together, and I think we saved a few insurance claims,” he said.
On Tuesday morning, Kāpiti mayor K Gurunathan said river levels in the region had dropped slightly overnight but “we’re not out of the woods yet”.
Rain forecast for the rest of the day meant the situation could worsen, he said.
As of 8am Tuesday morning, Te Horo village was cut off by flooding of the Mangaone Stream, but access to homes near Maungakotukutuku Rd had been reopened after a slip blocked the road.
Gurunathan said some residents had chosen to evacuate “just to be safe”, but no official evacuations were under way on Tuesday morning.
Te Horo resident Victor Paulson lived on School Rd near the Mangaone Stream on Tuesday morning. He said he was watching the rainfall closely.
“I’m on the edge. It’s a couple of inches from my foundations. You get another heavy dump for half an hour to an hour then it’ll be right up against it.”
Wellington Water spokesman James Ford said the organisation was called to 150 weather-related events on Monday plus 150 jobs requested by councils. Tuesday’s figures were not immediately available.
More heavy rain was expected in the Wellington region on Tuesday, while the cleanup from flooding on Monday got under way.
MetService meteorologist Dan Corrigan said gauges around Wellington recorded between 100mm and 127mm of rain between 12am on Monday and 7am on Tuesday.
Kāpiti had 96mm of rain in the nine hours to 2pm on Monday. That was “very heavy indeed”, he said.
MetService has a heavy rain watch for Kāpiti and Horowhenua in place until 6pm on Tuesday and a heavy rain warning for the Tararua Range for the same period.
Paraparaumu resident Mark Hunt said the Wharemauku Stream was the highest he had seen in nearly 18 years and it showed no sign of dropping.
“It’s the worst it’s been since the Paekākāriki floods. Usually it’s just a stream, but at the moment it’s like Niagara Falls,” Hunt said.
Victoria Barton-Chapple, of the Wellington City Council, confirmed Takarau Gorge Rd still had restricted access on Tuesday morning after a slip. A team was heading to the area to survey the situation, she said.
A team was removing a large fallen tree on Makara Rd just ahead of the turnoff to Beach Rd that the council was notified of shortly before 9.30am. She asked drivers to avoid the area if possible.
A tree had also fallen on Glenmore St in Kelburn. Police were notified shortly before 8.50am. The tree had fallen on power lines and was blocking much of the road, but police confirmed that contractors had cleared the site by 9.50am.
Contactors were attending small slips in Glenside and Karori. Road surface flooding in Miramar and Seatoun, debris on Massey Rd, and culvert blockage at the Ataturk Memorial car park were reported overnight.
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