16 May 2010

Most flood evacuees able to return home

10:09 pm on 16 May 2010

Some of the houses damaged in flooding in the Tapawera Valley, at the top of the South Island, were uninhabitable on Sunday night.

The families involved had to make other accommodation arrangements.

Twenty-two families from the Hinetau Road area took refuge at an evacuation centre at the Tapawera Rugby Club rooms after a heavy dump of rain on Sunday morning flooded the Baton and Wangapeka rivers.

The rivers have peaked but locals face a big clean-up.

The Nelson Tasman Civil Defence controller, Jim Fraser, says several houses are badly damaged, some by debris from an old logging site being swept down a river.

He says wet earth at McLeans Reserve on the Motueka Highway is still slipping and the road remains blocked.

Civil Defence is urging all residents on the Dovedale water scheme to conserve water for at least 24 hours because debris from the flood has limited the water supply.