Residents of four Edgecumbe streets allowed home

  • 10/04/2017

People who live in 46 houses in southeastern Edgecumbe are being allowed to return home.

The properties - in Hydro Rd, Nikau Pl, Miro Pl and Konini Pl - will be allowed to be reoccupied from 8am on Monday.

The residents will have water services, but will have to use portaloos.

There was a measure of relief on Sunday for some people who live in the drier areas of the flood-ravaged Bay of Plenty township, as they were allowed behind the cordon to visit their homes for the first time. 

Most of the residents who got in were allowed because their home is now dry - but even though the water is gone, it's left a trail of destruction.

Sixteen-hundred people fled the Bay of Plenty town on Thursday in a hurry when a floodwall gave way.

Residents expressed anger about flood management and the handling of the crisis at heated public meetings on Saturday.

They queued on Sunday to be allowed escorted access to homes to pick up essential items.

Pumps are working 24 hours a day to remove water from the town, a process expected to take 10 days.

Ministry of Education representatives will be at Whakatane and Kawerau on Monday to discuss school and school holiday arrangements.

The SPCA has had a rescue team in Edgecumbe and people have been registering lost pets.

Nearly three-quarters of homes in the town are believed to have been affected by the flood.

"Some people will never able to go back and live in their homes," said Whakatane District Council chief executive Marty Grenfell.

"The town is not safe and it won't be safe for some time." 

Others could have to wait up to 10 days, the council said on Saturday night.

Relief package incoming

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is expected to tour flood-damaged Bay of Plenty on Monday and a topic for discussion will be a relief package.

Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty president Darryl Jensen told NZ Newswire during the weekend that the organisation helped to move 3543 animals, mostly dairy cows, from the region and others were moved privately.

Fonterra's Edgecumbe factory is closed and milk is being carted to other factories.

Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne on Sunday toured the hinterland with two government ministers and was heartened the people there told him to focus on Edgecumbe.

"I know there is going to be some high-level talks tomorrow with Fed Farmers and the Rural Support Trust," Mr Bonne said.

Pumps are being used in Kiwifruit orchards where vines are heavy with fruit ahead of harvest but there are losses.

Mr Jensen said support from government for farmers "would be worked out".

Farmers had incurred huge costs in moving stock and faced a hard winter because feed, usually grown in autumn, was lost in the floods.

NZN / Newshub.