Porirua community rallies after flood

Porirua community rallies after flood

Porirua residents have spent the morning cleaning up after a massive deluge brought the city to a standstill yesterday.

Heavy rain over a few hours closed roads and schools and left houses damaged before the flooding subsided.

The water went almost as quickly as it came, but left reminders in the knee-high debris marks on the houses it ruined.

Roads impassable by the rain were now flooded with cars going about their business.

Porirua community rallies after flood

Some roads were under water yesterday, forcing detours for traffic (Newshub.)

But it wasn't business as usual for distraught residents who'd had their homes and possessions destroyed.

It did, however, bring the community together in an unfortunate and unenviable event, no more so than on Whitehouse Rd in Titahi Bay.

Residents told of neighbours helping each other out and even the local fish n' chip shop down the street bringing around food.

Porirua community rallies after flood

The clean up will take some time for residents, though the water is long gone (Newshub.)

Even today, as the street's residents take stock of what was lost and what could be salvaged, they offered to help each other and check how they were getting on.

Only material things were harmed, not people.

Daniel Ross, who lives with his mother in their two-storey unit, was resigned to spending the day going through the house.

Porirua community rallies after flood


"We've got under house living, and all that, and it's destroyed everything. Washing machine is destroyed, fridge, freezer -- yeah, I'm not happy about it at the moment.

"The house right now smells pretty bad. It's coming through the whole house, all the dampness. But yeah, we're okay."

Porirua community rallies after flood

A neighbour has organised a skip for residents to dump their destroyed belongings (Newshub.)

One resident was mourning the loss of sentimental items including artworks by her late son which she kept in the garage but was more than happy to help out her neighbour of 30 years.

Audrey McDonald, in her 70s, is remaining stubbornly positive in the face of the widespread water damage to her home and beloved back garden.

Porirua community rallies after flood


At the height of yesterday's flooding, the water was thigh-high and had moved and broken some large ceramic pots and statues leaving them strewn across the front yard.

"I drove in after lunch and I nearly had a heart attack when I saw my house flooded. I knew I had to go into the house, but when I walked into the house, the house was flooded.

"It was a horrible feeling," she says.

"Because the water was strong, it was lifting my pots and racing them down [to the front yard], but that to me is immaterial. We're okay, we're okay. I'm okay."

Porirua community rallies after flood

The water was strong enough to break statues and move heavy pots (Newshub.)

She had nothing but praise for her community which she'd been part of for decades.

"Ladies were coming with scones and coffees. Some lady from the fish n' chip shop, she marched in with all these coffees.

"The whole street was full of people and because we've got a little street and a little community; they were wonderful. It made me feel good."

Porirua community rallies after flood

The community came together to help each other before helping themselves (Newshub.)

She planned to visit her neighbours to "reciprocate the kindness they gave me".

"At the end of the day, when you've got something that [happens], if you've got a positive attitude -- fabulous." 

All the residents spoken to by Newshub on Whitehouse Rd were insured and were awaiting assessors to come by.

But they criticised Porirua City Council, saying the drain system wasn't improved to cope with the new houses which had popped up in the past few years.

Yesterday, Mayor Nick Leggett said the council would look at how it responded to the event to see what lessons could be learned.

Porirua community rallies after flood

Council staff spent yesterday helping where they could (Newshub.)

The flooding closed at least six schools.

The Ministry of Education says Porirua School will stay closed until Monday to allow time to clean up.

Porirua community rallies after flood

Porirua School will remain empty of children until at least Monday (Newshub.)

It will work with the school to look at alternative accommodation within and outside the school where required.

Mana College has reopened, but parts of it remain closed because of damage.