Post-flood Auckland: People in dire need; more bad weather on its way
This article highlights the terrible plight of people affected by the floods, unreported till now, by the media and unaddressed by any official civil defence or aid agency.
Where ,for example is the NZ army. Be warned that apart from bottom-up, community groups when it comes to disasters YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.
This is made clear by the non-response by Civil Defence, which I am told, is in dissaray after Jacinda puts all its eggs in the “covid response” basket
Auckland flooding: Student Volunteer Army’s Big Clean-Up event reveals badly-affected houses, dreadful smells
Badly-affected houses and dreadful smells have been revealed after the Student Volunteer Army’s (SVA) ‘Big Clean-Up’ eventIts CEO Jana Hood said around 200 volunteers supported door-knocking at 1200 homes in west Auckland on Sunday as well as on the North Shore, Epsom, Mt Roskill, Blockhouse Bay and Onehunga.
According to Hood, over 20 homes still required support with cleaning, while 30 others had been referred to other organisations for services like clothing and food.
“Many Aucklanders are still waiting to hear from their insurance companies and are afraid to move until they do,” she said.
“Others were wanting to rip up sodden, sewage-contaminated carpets, but were worried this might impact their insurance cover. So we encouraged people to take photos before removing any floor coverings.
“The smell of rotting food and rotten carpets in some houses was just horrendous, but they don’t want to leave their homes and their communities.”
Sam Johnson, who founded the SVA in 2011 following the Canterbury earthquakes, described the stories yesterday as “heart-wrenching”.
“The volunteer work was awful. It smells dreadful and is hard work,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hood said a lot of residents are too proud to ask for help, especially in ethnic communities.
She recommended these groups reach out to SVA for volunteer support with cleaning and deliveries.
“We’re also still finding small, badly-affected pockets of houses and the only way to locate these is via door-knocking,” she said.
Last week the SVA became one of only two volunteer groups participating officially with Auckland Council on its incident response.
The team plans to continue cleaning up homes with another big event in the Mount Roskill area planned for later in the week.
People can help support the SVA’s effort by donating to SVA at sva.org.nz/donate.
Forecasters on alert as fresh potential cyclone looms
Auckland motorists are being urged to prepare for packed roads and slow-moving traffic today as forecasters warn the flood-ravaged city could be hit by another fierce weather system later this week.
MetService has “all eyes on the islands” as a tropical low that may turn into a cyclone threatens to breach New Zealand’s shores in the coming days.
“If this system does pass close to the North Island, it will be another significant weather event potentially affecting vulnerable areas which are still recovering from recent severe weather,” MetService said yesterday.
A potential cyclone is the last thing Auckland needs as residents across the city continue to clean up after unprecedented rainfall sparked severe flooding that inundated homes, triggered numerous slips and claimed the lives of four people late last month.
And with the return to school and work after the long weekend, Tuesday is expected to be a busy day for the Auckland Transport network.
Motorists are being asked to prepare for this accordingly by planning ahead and leaving plenty of time for travel this morning.
AT spokesperson Darek Koper said the organisation would be providing regular updates on its website so people had the information they needed to plan their journeys.
As of last night, 29 roads were still closed or partially closed across Auckland due to the widespread damage caused by the devastating floods.
Slip-ravaged Tāmaki Drive was expected to open with one lane soon, while Ngapipi Rd in Ōrākei, Shore Rd in Remuera and Kemp Rd in Massey have reopened, Auckland Emergency Management said.
AEM said work continued yesterday reconnecting the city after slips and floods impacted roads and a bridge was washed away in Rodney.
AT and contractors aimed to have a new bridge on Mill Flat Rd, near Riverhead, fully open by Wednesday. AEM said it was trying to open the bridge to residents yesterday.
“Be prepared for longer journey times due to more Aucklanders travelling around and the remaining damage to our road and public transport network,” Koper said.
He confirmed scheduled buses would be operating as usual from today however there could be some last-minute cancellations due to the ongoing bus driver shortage.
Koper said people may want to consider walking or biking to school or work, but MetService warned that might not be possible all week as a fresh cyclone threatened to bring more rain to Auckland.
It was expected to hold off today, however, with the city likely to see a mainly fine, 24C day with some isolated showers in the west.
MetService meteorologist Jessie Owen said the upcoming week would bring milder temperatures across the nation and a break from the humid and sticky weather in the north.
However, the finer weather could prove to be brief.
“All eyes are now on the tropics,” MetService said.
A cyclone was likely to develop in the Coral Sea, between New Caledonia and Australia in the Pacific, from a tropical low-pressure system in the next few days.
Windy.com predicts on its website that the storm will likely hit our shores at midnight next Monday, bringing strong gusts up to 50 knots.
MetService meteorologist John Law told RNZ’s Morning Report the area of low pressure was currently around the Solomon Islands but it was expected to deepen into a tropical cyclone and begin heading towards New Zealand around the middle of the week.
“It’s likely to be quite a large system and it may well impact us as we head towards the end of this week – more especially towards the end of Sunday and in towards the start of next week.”
If it tracked as currently forecast, New Zealand’s northern shores were likely to be the most affected, he said.
“We could well find some heavier rainfalls, some stronger winds and some higher seas around those northern coasts.”
However, there was still “a fair bit of uncertainty” surrounding the weather system’s exact path, Law said.
“So it’s definitely worth keeping up to date with the forecasts, even if you’re not in those northern parts of the country.”
Forecaster WeatherWatch said more slips, more flooding and more road closures were inevitable if the storm tracked directly over New Zealand.
“This likely storm has the potential to bring with it 300mm or more to NZ, so that precise tracking – whether it makes landfall or remains out at sea – is even more critical following recent flooding,” WeatherWatch head forecaster Philip Duncan said.
“It is certainly one to closely watch and many will be hoping it remains out at sea, which is a possibility.”
Hauraki Gulf Weather explained the “convective hot towers punching into the stratosphere” were likely to become a tropical cyclone on Wednesday.
We’re keeping our eyes on the tropics as a tropical low in the Coral Sea looks likely to develop into a tropical cyclone this week
Impacts of the cyclone on NZ will be highly dependent on the path the cyclone could take, which is still uncertain as the system hasn’t developed. pic.twitter.com/R4qMnmwzyL
— MetService (@MetService) February 5, 2023
The forecaster said it was “still early days and a lot can change” but called current tracking a “concerning trend for the upper North Island”.
The potential tropical cyclone was expected to “possibly [move] towards the far north of New Zealand” at the weekend, MetService said.
The storm could cause strong winds, heavy rain and large swells on the country’s eastern coasts, should it pass nearby.
“It is important to emphasise that the cyclone’s path is still uncertain as the system hasn’t yet developed.
“We will have a much better idea about the path this system will take, and any related severe weather, in another couple of days once it has formed,” Owen said.