Porirua flooding: at least 16 homes uninhabitable

5:45 pm on 1 December 2020

Porirua City Council is helping one family find accommodation after their home was made uninhabitable by flooding.

Fire fighters trying to pump water from a Plimmerton home.

Photo: Supplied/ Jane Mather

Porirua, north of Wellington, has experienced a couple of days of wet and wild weather, starting with a deluge of rain on Sunday, and then more rain and strong wind on Monday evening.

Sixteen homes in total have been made uninhabitable - fifteen by the flooding which hit the suburb of Plimmerton, and one in Whitby where a slip meant the family had to be evacuated last night.

"The first time I knew about it was my daughter had rung up and said she'd seen it on the Whitby facebook page, and then I looked out the door and saw this big fire engine parked outside," said Pauline, a Whitby resident who lives on the street where the slip happened.

"I was in a panic because I was in the house on my own, because my husband and son had gone around to watch the grand prix at my daughter's place.

"I didn't know what was happening then."

Pauline and her husband Horace have lived in Whitby for four years, and not had any trouble before.

"Now looking around at the hills, we're a bit worried."

Engineers have been going around the area assessing the properties and checking to see if there is any more slip risk.

Elsewhere across the city, the council said they had carried out 100 needs assessments across Plimmerton.

Nine of those assessments would require urgent follow-up, and 30 were non-urgent.

A council spokesperson said most people whose homes had been made uninhabitable were staying with friends and family. One family was being assisted in finding accommodation.

Porirua City Council is expecting that number to increase.

"Maybe one or two more," said Jerry Wren, the controller. "Most people in these situations tend to make their own arrangements, people they know and so forth.

"But there's always people who need additional help, so probably we'll go to two or three [families] I would think."

The council's issue would be finding them a place to go, which is not always easy.

The heavy rain which came down overnight also means there is a chance of wastewater overflows.

"Accommodation is very difficult to find in Porirua," Wren said. "All the hotels are full, so we've got a team working to find places for people to go, and so far they have been successful."

The wild winds have battered the entire region over the past day.

Gusts reached over 100km/h in Kelburn - a suburb in Wellington - while on top of Mount Kaukau it nearly hit 150km/h.

Beaches along the entire region's coastline have been deemed unsuitable for swimming for 48 hours, due to the risk of contamination.

Several skip bins were being placed on the corners of roads to help affected residents dump their flood-damaged items.

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