Eastern Courier : January 26th 2010
www.easterncourier.co.nz Wednesday, January 26, 2011 THE WEEKEND STORM Crowd control a big issue Flooded street: Kayakers make the most out of a bad situation at Maraetai Beach on Sunday. Photo: LINDA AND ANDY MILLARD By KRISTINA RAPLEY CURIOUS ONLOOKERS, THE BIG CLEANUP AND A CAT WITH NINE LIVES Rough water: Onlookers shocked at the rising tide at Maraetai wharf. Photo: LINDA AND ANDY MILLARD Cleaning up: Reghan Brownlee,14, cleaning up what's left of his soaked belongings. Photo: KRISTINA RAPLEY Eight lives left: Pat Walsh with his cat Ginger who was rescued from underneath a neighbour's house. Photo: KRISTINA RAPLEY EMERGENCY services had their work cut out for them by mother nature. Strong winds, rain and high tides caused major flood- ing to many waterfront homes in east Auckland on Sunday. Howick firefighters and Beachlands and Howick vol- unteer brigades worked tirelessly to save homes and keep the public safe. Maraetai, Eastern Beach and Bucklands Beach were among the worst affected. Beachlands volunteer fire brigade deputy chief fire officer Carl Llewelyn says crowd control was a big issue at Maraetai. Lots of people were wan- dering around seeing what was going on so we had to make sure they weren't in any danger.'' Howick station officer John Searle says his staff had the same problem at Bucklands Beach. The biggest worry for us was that there were power supply boxes under water and there was actually smoke coming out of the water.'' He says they could hear buzzing noises and one of the boxes exploded a few times sending sparks and flames into the air. We were trying to keep people away from front boundaries for fear of them getting electrocuted.'' The Fire Service spent the day pumping water out of houses and sandbagging to prevent more flooding. Bucklands Beach resident Pat Walsh needed the help of Howick firefighters when he realised his cat Ginger was stuck underneath a neigh- bour's house. The water was rising and Ginger was completely sub- merged with just his face sticking out for air. The owner of the cat was pretty distraught,'' Mr Searle says. They cut a hole in the floor- boards and neighbour Steven Van Heerden, 22, ended up swimming under the house and rescued Ginger. He was soaking wet and pretty agitated,'' grateful owner Pat says. He was really nervous and skittery but now he's back to his normal self, lying around doing absolutely nothing.'' Maraetai resident Reghan Brownlee, 14, has lost his most prized possession in the flood -- his bedroom. His bed, couch, television, bookshelf and books, home- work desk, drawers, clothes and electronics are all destroyed. It's pretty shattering. I've worked really hard making this room and I've lost all of my favourite stuff,'' he says. See www.easterncourier. co.nz for more storm photos.
January 21st 2010
January 28th 2011