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Concern over possibility of flooding on Waiheke drives preventative action

Published: 20 February 2019

A potential storm event is threatening to bring heavy rain and possible flooding to the Auckland region this weekend.

On Waiheke Island, many who have been flooded before will be anxiously waiting to see what the weather will bring.

Healthy Waters contractors will be inspecting more than 50 sites on Thursday and completing any maintenance needed by the end of the day on Friday.

The weather forecast for this weekend includes heavy rain and gales, with Sunday expected to be the worst day.

Waiheke Local Board Chair Cath Handley said the community would need to pull together to get ready and respond if there was more water than the island's drainage could cope with.

"We know some residents and businesses have previously suffered great losses," she said.

"Since the last major storm in 2017 many fixes have been put in place by owners, Healthy Waters and Auckland Transport, while other locations are still working on solutions."

Healthy Waters general manager Craig Mcilroy said the inspections were intended to identify potential issues with hotspots such as inlets being blocked with vegetation or debris and clear them before the weather hit.

"This will reduce the chance of the hot spot inlets not functioning effectively during rain, but there is always the potential that during the storm further debris will migrate onto the hot spots," he said.

There is particular concern around the Erua Road and Tahi Road Tawaipareira Stream catchment area. 

Mcilroy said previous flooding at this location had occurred so Auckland Council was working towards implementing a solution that could reduce the risk of future flooding.  "However, post any works occurring, it is important to note that any low lying areas near streams will always be subject to a risk of flooding in larger rain events," he said.

Handley said it was reassuring to see the council taking proactive action to minimise the impact of the potentially rough weather.

“Our land is so dry it’s not going to mop this water up if it’s a deluge so we all need to be on alert and to look out for less able neighbours. It’s an anxious time for those who have been flooded before," she said.

What to do in an emergency

In an emergency call 111. 

To log flooding issues call the Auckland Council call centre on 09 301 0101.

Contractors will be on call and the job will be logged so you can follow up if needed. There is also an escalation process through the call centre if needed.