Rodney Times : February 3rd 2011
3 RODNEY TIMES, FEBRUARY 3, 2011 NEWS Bay stuck in the mud Mud muck: Josh Hooper was woken early Saturday morning by screams and yells to see if he was all right. Mud from the driveway seeped into his room and water marks from it can still be seen on his carpet. By MICHELE ONG IT WAS a heart-stopping weekend for two Stanmore Bay residents whose homes were caught in a mud- slip caused by torrential rain over Auckland Anniversary weekend. Natasha Robson s house bore the brunt of it when loose soil from an empty lot behind it spilled over and gushed down on to their property. It was about 2am when my part- ner woke up and saw clay pouring down from the section behind us, Natasha says. She believes a few of the storm pipes were broken when houses were removed along Whangaparaoa Rd, the road behind her, resulting in the slide. My partner Omar heard a lot of water pouring over and said there shouldn t be this much water. He also heard something moving out- side, she says. He woke her up and they watched clay and water pour from the empty section behind into their property. We had dog kennel and cage out- side, and the clay which came down took them both out. It pushed the kennel all the way down the drive- way. The clay pushed our lawnmower through the window, broke it and clay poured through the window into our rumpus, Natasha says. She says the back of the house was heaped in clay with a stream of water flowing through the house. They have two trucks parked by their house and Omar had to make a quick dash to move his. If he hadn t, the clay coupled with the pressure of the cage would ve pushed the truck, tipping it and it could ve easily rolled into our neighbour s house across the road, she says. The family s rumpus was wrecked, with carpets, couches, a waterski, whiteboard, washing machine and dryer all gone , she says. Her stepdaughter, Isabella, saw the lighter side of it and asked if she could kayak down the mudslide. Natasha says it took about 20 truckloads to clear the mud and their house now resembles a con- struction site. Mud more than 30cm deep also spilled over on to Angus Rush s property next to Natasha s. Angus was awakened by someone banging on his window saying there was mud all over the driveway. It was about 2am to 3am. It was dark and pouring with rain. I went to check on things and saw my boat had shifted close to my car and so I had to move the car, he says. Angus says he was more con- cerned for his neighbours because they were worst-affected. They had mud washed into their basement. The family live upstairs so they were okay, he says. Angus says everything happened quite fast and and he got no sleep because he had to leave for work at 5am. Josh Hooper, who rents a room from him right by the driveway, says he woke up to hear Angus screaming and yelling to check if he was all right. He says he went back to sleep and got up around 8am to discover mud had seeped under his door. There was mud everywhere. There was probably about a centi- metre and a half of it on my carpet. I spent an hour or so using a squee- gee to clean up the mess, he says. Josh says neighbours came over on Sunday to help clean the house. A bulldozer came to push all the mud out of the neighbour s house, which kept bringing mud back into my room. So I had to keep cleaning it out. But the neighbours were pretty good to clean it for us, he says. Another neighbour who didn t want to be named says the Auck- land Council handled the situation marvellously. They were on the ball. They sent their man out early Sunday morn- ing and in the next hour more men arrived. Soon the streets were filled with trucks. They had the whole street fixed and dried by Sunday afternoon. Bach deck collapse under scrutiny By FRANK NELSON It was total pandemonium at the scene of the deck collapse at an Omaha holiday home on Sunday night, says one of the first rescuers. Warkworth-based Insite Security general manager Chris Martin says he reached the house about 15 minutes after the first responders, his Insite Security patrol of former All Black Glen Osborne and Karl Newton. Mr Martin says there was total pandemonium with a lot of people in serious pain and one woman still under the deck, apparently with a broken ankle, as people cleared debris around her. He praised the work of his team who, he said had gone through two boxes of first-aid equipment as they triaged the injured. The two guys did a brilliant job. Those renting the house were reported to have come from Auck- land to attend a wedding. Mr Martin said on Tuesday he thought just two remained in hos- pital with broken limbs. This was the fourth deck collapse that Wellsford s deputy chief fire officer Shaun Pilgrim has been involved with, including one in the Marlborough Sounds in 2005 when he was among the victims. On that occasion he was attending a family wedding when a deck collapsed under the weight of about 90 people. Though Mr Pilgrim was unhurt, his wife suffered a bad leg injury. He said such incidents are not so uncommon as people might think and he urged homeowners to check their decks. A structure that shows no sign of weakness during everyday family use may be highly vulnerable under the sudden weight of a crowd of people. He said in this case the collapse may have been a reflection of the building standards of the day combined with unseen deterio- ration . Mr Pilgrim also echoed the words of praise from Mr Martin, saying the Warkworth and Matakana fire brigades, along with Insite Security, worked well together to restore con- trol in a very chaotic situation. Investigations into the deck col- lapse at the Omaha home are con- tinuing. Community rallies after 'worst floods in living memory' Cliff crash: Trees and a crumbled cliff face at Leigh Marine Reserve. Photo: ROGER GRACE Shop soiled: Connor McKenzie, 17, of Matakana, surveys flooded shops in Matakana Village at midnight on Friday. Flooding and slips closed State Highway 1 from Hill St in Wark- worth to Davies Rd in Wellsford for more than two hours on Friday after 9pm. Link roads to SH16 around the Warkworth area were also impass- able for a time on Friday night. A section through the Dome Val- ley was then shut on Saturday for 12 hours with flooding and slips, fully opening at 9pm. While the Whangaripo Valley periodically floods during heavy rain, the turnoff to Wayby Valley Rd was under a metre of water with traffic diverted along SH16 at Silverdale, Warkworth and Wellsford, with 113 properties still without power in the Whangaripo area on Saturday night. Locals say they haven t seen flooding like this in living memory. With serious undermining of the road between Leigh and Pakiri from the previous weekend s heavy rain, the road was closed again. Matakana Valley Rd suffered around 20 slips with a massive underslip between Govan Wilson Rd and Smith Rd. It is expected to be closed until Monday. Matakana Village shops had extensive flooding Friday night as the Matakana River overflowed. Shop owners arrived the next morning to find up to 30cm of water through their shops. While damage to goods and fittings is likely to exceed $100,000, shop owners say they were overwhelmed at the sup- port of the local community and visitors who turned out in force on Saturday morning to help clean up. Owner Richard Didsbury says the complex is built above previous levels and designed to withstand once in 100 year flooding. On Kawau Island there were many slips with three in School House Bay alone.
February 1st 2011
February 8th 2011