A Whangārei family’s home was miraculously spared from muddy floodwaters that had spilled over from the city’s main river following a major landslide.
Police had to evacuate Whareora Rd residents at midday on Tuesday after a slip occurred about 250m away from the Hātea River at the base of Mount Parihaka. The debris clogged a waterway linking Mount Parihaka to the Hātea River near the bridge on Whareora Rd.
Mike Procter’s home on Whareora Rd has become an island surrounded by thick sludgy water spilling from the clog in the waterway.
“It could be worse,” he said.
His family had managed to stay safe, and the inside of his home was miraculously spared.
Procter said the water levels in the Hātea River at the back of his property broke the bank around 9am on Monday.
The river’s levels were reportedly much higher yesterday than the normal 2.8 metres expected at high tide around 2pm.
Whareora Road slip, flooding and mudslide. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Police assess the Whareora Road slip. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Procter said floodwaters submerged the front half of his section as well as the surrounding paddocks.
“The mud just flowed completely over the property, up against the sides.”
A blocked river culvert at the top of Whareora Rd means a creek is running through Procter’s property.
Police and Whangārei District Council workers were attempting to clear the culvert on Tuesday afternoon so water would correctly flow away from people’s homes.
But floodwaters haven’t been the only problem the Procter family have encountered.
“We’ve had a few trees down too, that tree fell on the neighbours... it squashed their property,” Procter said.
The roof of a neighbour’s sleepout was partially crushed by a tree between the two properties.
Another Whareora Rd homeowner, who did not want to be named, ended up with a massive overflowing dam behind his property after several huge trees fell into the creek.
At around 7.30pm he heard a loud cracking sound.
“We jumped up to our lookout here and we could just see like a mist coming down through the trees and a rumbling,” he said.
“Next thing we could just see trees falling over, coming down towards the house.”
The resident quickly evacuated to the home of a family member.
Several huge trees have fallen into a creek beside Whareora Rd, causing slips nearby. Photo / Michael Cunningham
He said their home had been okay when they arrived back early this morning.
“We’ve got a roof over our head, that’s better than most people.”
Because broken trees have blocked the creek’s path, the Hātea River is flowing down his driveway and across Whareora Rd onto downhill properties.
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