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BOP Flood: Mayor Says Support Saved Lives

BOP Flood: Mayor Says Support Saved Lives

“The dedication, service and care for others displayed in the flood and landslide affected parts of our District over the past ten days has been enormous and means that we have survived without loss of life” stated Mayor Colin Hammond.

This emergency is certainly the most challenging and traumatic since the 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake and has tested our emergency resources and personnel to the limit. It has displayed the very best in our community, the strength of our Civil Defence response team and shown again why this Whakatane District is such a great place to live.

The community response to this has been superb and special thanks are due to staff, paid and unpaid, for their outstanding contribution during the emergency. The list is endless: the Police and Army, who started evacuations on the first night, the Fire Service staff, who began pumping out houses on Saturday and still continue nine days later, the roading crews working in the most dangerous conditions to keep our roads open, the telephone and power repair teams who performed miracles to keep these vital services operating, St John Ambulance staff rescuing and providing medical services in all parts of our District, the welfare teams and volunteers who have provided physical and emotional support to victims and workers alike, the Regional Council staff and contractors who responded to failing stopbanks, rising rivers and floodwaters, and our own Council team who have so ably managed and staffed the Control Headquarters, and so many, many others who have worked tirelessly and often at personal risk to ensure the safety and security of people and property.

“Through all of this challenge and trauma we have managed to date to achieve the first priority of Civil Defence which is to minimise loss of life. Please be careful and aware of others in the days ahead to ensure that this record is maintained. We have done so well to date, but the challenges of restoring our District will provide many more situations which will need co-operation and community spirit and the same selfless fortitude to achieve. As surely as the warm winter sun dries out our lands and pastures, this will happen.”

Colin J Hammond JP MAYOR

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