Mayor praises community effort during/after flooding
Mayor Ross Church says the flooding brought out the best in the Kāpiti community.
"Never have I felt so proud as Mayor to see the way our community pulled together to face this crisis. From emergency services, welfare agencies, council staff and volunteers, everyone played a part.
“This event tested us and we were up to the challenge. We practice and prepare for such events but nothing equips you to have to deal with a real thing - and a situation that developed rapidly.
“A total of 143.6 mm of rain fell over our district in 24 hours, compared to an average of 78mm for the month of May. The nation looked on through live television and radio coverage as our links to Wellington were cut off, trains ground to a halt, buses stopped and roads were blocked.
“I hoped we presented a picture to the nation of a community that pulled together, supported one another and took charge of an event that could have easily overwhelmed us.”
Mayor Church says about 50 council operations staff were out on the job from early morning to late Thursday night and were supported by more than 40 staff from Goodmans, Downers and the M2PP Alliance.
“Police, Fire, Ambulance, Public Health, Downer and Electra staff worked in our Emergency Operations Centre over the course of the day. The centre made 5000 sandbags available to homeowners as streams burst their banks and flooding became widespread.
“Four civil defence emergency assistance centres were activated in the Paekākāriki Hall, Raumati South School, Paraparaumu Community Centre and Waikanae Memorial Hall in case people were flooded out of their homes. Many people offered to help neighbours in need. Other councils offered help.”
The Mayor says he wanted to particularly thank local business who helped in so many ways.
“Pak‘nSave and Kāpiti Cakes and Bakery provided food to the civil defence emergency assistance centres and the Novella Café contributed to feeding staff working at the emergency operations centre. Local radio stations broadcast our public service messages and made sure our most vulnerable residents were kept informed.
“Our staff kept up a constant flow of information to media and via our Facebook and web pages. The Council call centre stayed on after hours receiving 1100 calls. On a normal day the centre receives between 250-350 calls.”
Mayor Church says the event has left the district sodden and scarred but with its spirit intact and its resilience proven.