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South Island residents preparing to clean up after Fehi

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff,
Section
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thursday, 22 February 2018, 11:11a.m.
Slips have blocked parts of State Highway 6, one of the most dsmaged areas after the storm. (Photo / Sophie Allan)

South Island residents are considering themselves lucky that the damage from yesterday's storm has not been more severe.

The biggest concern after ex-Cyclone Fehi left its mark on New Zealand is the safety of the 115 or so motorists stranded on State Highway 6.

The road has been damaged by slips and downed trees on the road between the townships of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier.

Westland Mayor Bruce Smith told Mike Hosking the problem now is to work out how to get the people out.

WATCH: Debris flung across the road in Greymouth

He's uncertain when that will happen.

"[There are] lots of logs down on the State Highway. I'm hoping today sometime."

There are hopes that a helicopter will be able to get to them sometime this morning.

In Dunedin, up to 50 homes have been damaged by flooding after the storm brought more than 100 millimetres of rain to the city yesterday.

 

Mayor Dave Cull said things have settled a bit overnight.

"There's been a but more rain, but most of the water's receded. We left the state of emergency in place until this morning because of contamination more than anything as there's only so much you can clean up in the dark."

Cull said there's not a huge amount of damage to infrastructure, but a large rest home had to be evacuated.

Greymouth was hit hard by the elements, and Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said there's a huge amount to clean up.

READ MORE: Nelson woman feared for her life as waves swamped her car

"It's one of those things. There's no point delaying it. Got to roll your sleeves up and get moving."

Westport locals are yet to fully assess the damage caused by last night's high tide, but it's expected to be extensive.

Bassets' Farm manager Matt Birchfield told Mike Hosking it's strewn debris across his farm.

"We lost a calf shed roof, [a] silo was moved. It's probably the worst I've seen it. It was very, very strong for an hour and a half."

He said they will be trying to get on as best they can.

"We'll get the cows milked because at the moment, cause at the moment we can't put any milk in the silo because the tankers aren't picking up because they can't get up the road. It'll be a fairly big clean-up."

 

Civil Defence officials in Taranaki are breathing a sigh of relief.

Residents of Waitara East Beach and Waitara Estuary were evacuated last night, ahead of high tide.

The area experienced six and a half metre swells during yesterday's king tide.

But Fire and Emergency commander Pat Fitzell told Hosking the overnight high tide wasn't as bad.

"We were concerned about last night [and the thought of] trying to evacuate people in the dark. But as the tide went out, the swell went down to about three and a half. We were very lucky."

A state of emergency remains in place in Buller.

The small township of Granity was completely inundated by the sea.

LISTEN TO THE WEATHER UPDATE ABOVE

ON AIR: Larry Williams Drive

4p.m. - 7p.m.