22 Apr 2013

Nelson-Tasman begins clean-up after flooding

7:02 pm on 22 April 2013

Families and businesses are clearing up after intense heavy rain in the Nelson-Tasman area.

At least 90 homes in Stoke and Richmond have been damaged by flooding and will be checked by building inspectors.

The region received 144 millimetres of rain in 12 hours, including a near-record fall of 100mm in just one hour on Sunday and 200 calls were made to the Fire Service.

The Nelson-Tasman region Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group said priorities were assessing infrastructure, people and businesses, and damage done to the CBD.

Flooding at a Nelson property.

Flooding at a Nelson property. Photo: RNZ

It said for those needing help, a welfare centre was open at the Richmond New Life Centre, where there were representatives from Work and Income, the Ministry of Social Development and the Salvation Army.

The Saxton Stadium and the fitness area at the ASB Aquatic Centre will be closed for at least a week to make repairs.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand says more than 1500 house or contents insurance claims have been made so far.

Civil Defence is warning households in Motueka to boil their water for a minute before drinking it, and anyone clearing mud and silt after the floods should be wary of sewage contamination.

A number of businesses in Richmond and Stoke said they were preparing for the heavy rain expected later on Monday by getting sandbags ready.

Elderly residents evacuated

Police said people living at Stillwater Gardens residential home had been evacuated overnight on Sunday to Richmond police station, before being returned to another wing of the building.

Retirement villages re-arranged sleeping layouts and three families evacuated from their homes after their properties were damaged.

Campers were moved on from the Appleby riverbed before flood waters reached them.

Ten fire crews from the wider Nelson area were dispatched to pump out flood water. The Fire Service said the floodwaters were so high, it had to tow abandoned cars off the road.

One of the businesses affected by the flooding was the Richmond Pak'nSave, which had to close early because of water in the store.

Store manager Mark Brokenshire said water up to 15 centimetres deep started to flow into the store from 5pm. While there was no damage, Mr Brokenshire said a full clean-up operation was now in place, in order for the supermarket to open on Monday.

The Richmond Top 10 Holiday Park said the waters were up to 30 centimetres deep.

Richmond resident Grant Irvine said one minute his house was fine, but then flooding caused the stormwater drain outside his property to burst causing 30 to 40 centimetres of water to flood his property and into the house.