INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tolaga Bay family to be airlifted - Update 2

Published: Mon 4 Jun 2018 10:35 AM
MEDIA RELEASE
Date/Time: Update 2
4 June 2018, 8.30
Tolaga Bay family airlifted off roof after flooding
Two adults and their four-year-old grandchild were airlifted by helicopter to safety this morning after their house was flooded and their woolshed washed away.
The couple were at Mangatokerau Road, off Paroa Road, north of Tolaga Bay, the area worst affected by torrential rain flooding since midnight this morning.
Tairawhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management group controller John Clarke said the three people were reported to be safe and well now with family, after an ordeal that saw them trapped on their roof since about 4am.
“The couple was wet and tired and the child is being assessed for hypothermia.”
Another two households about eight kilometres up the Tauwhareparae Road are trapped in their homes with flooding all around. About 20 people evacuated from houses around the area and being housed at Mangatuna Marae.
State Highway 2 at Mangatuna Road north of Tolaga Bay has been closed.
Tairawhiti Civil Defence Emergency Manager Louise Bennett said earlier the couple living on the Mangatokerau Road, off Paroa Road, believed the water was receding when a loud noise preceded another surge in the river close to their home.
“They managed to get on to the roof of their house to await assistance.”
Rivers in the Tolaga Bay area had risen rapidly since midnight. Civil Defence believe the rivers have peaked and were now receding.
The rain is also believed to have affected residents this morning at Makorori Road and Okitu.
Motorists are advised to stay home unless travel is essential, and check the roads before travel.

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