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Waitakere weathers weekend storm

29 July 2008

Waitakere weathers weekend storm - but residents urged to prepare for the next

While Waitakere weathered the weekend's storms without incurring too much damage, the Council is warning residents to prepare for a second bout of bad weather due to arrive today.

Around 45mm of rainfall was recorded across most of the city over a 24-hour period last weekend, although a particularly high rainfall of 63mm was recorded in Waitakere Township. However, no major flooding was reported.

The Council fielded a number of calls about storm-related incidents, particularly in regard to fallen trees and localised flooding. Four Council teams worked through the weekend proactively clearing cesspit grates and culvert entries, which assisted in keeping blockages to a minimum.

There were 40 callouts for trees and branches that had fallen onto roads or footpaths, including three reasonably major events where falling trees had taken out power lines on Laingholm Drive, South Lynn Road and Konini Road. The fallen tree at Laingholm Drive caused a prolonged power outage affecting residents and local sewerage pump stations. A 100KVA generator was deployed on Sunday morning to West Coast Road water pumping station to ensure water supplies to the reservoir were maintained, however normal power was restored before the generator was required for service.

There were also four reported road slips, but these were located above road level and considered minor.

With more heavy rainfall and high winds are forecast to hit the region on Tuesday night or Wednesday, Waitakere Civil Defence Manager, Bill Morley, urges residents to be prepared.

"We urge people to use common sense and to not do anything to put themselves in danger, unless they have to," he says. "It's good to have a battery-powered radio, spare batteries, spare torches, spare water and at least one telephone that doesn't require electrical power. Also be careful with candles and put them in a safe container in a safe place, where they're less likely to fall or be knocked over."

Mr Morley says in high winds, it's best to stay indoors.

"Don't go outside unless you have to. The ground is sodden at the moment and high winds are likely to bring down trees onto properties and power lines," he says.

Mr Morley says residents can help minimise flooding in the next storm by clearing leaves and other debris from their own drains and the cesspit grates in front of their houses to allow a free flow of water.

Mr Morley also asks residents to save non-urgent calls for service until after the storm has passed, so as not to clog-up the network. Keep calls to council and emergency services for emergency requests for assistance only, he says. For any power outages, call the faults number on your power bill.


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