Edgecumbe flooding

There has been flodding in various parts of the North island over the last couple of days but the worst has been in Edgecumbe in the Bay of Plenty, near Whakatane, where are river stop bank breached and hundreds of houses have been flooded – it looks like up a meter of water in and around properties in the town.

The water is bad enough, but it usually recedes quite quickly, leaving a coating of mud and slime, mixed with fuel and sewerage.

I worked for a week in Mataura after it flooded in 1978. The aim was to assess and try to save home appliances, but it was hopeless. The lower third to a half had been soaked and coated. Fridges and ovens with fibreglass insulation were sodden. It was often a fairly hopeless task, and the occupants were in shock.

I remember floor level bookcases with the books expanded with water and jammed tight. Carpets had to be all ripped out.

So I can imagine what it will be like in Edgecumbe, once people return to their homes.

It can be devastating.