2 Feb 2011

DoC defends actions on camp flash flood

7:31 pm on 2 February 2011

The Department of Conservation is defending its actions after a flash flood ripped through one of its Coromandel campsites last weekend.

A group of about 30 campers say they are appalled DoC gave them no help last Friday night when a stream in the Kauaeranga Valley near Thames rose by more than 2 metres in the night and swept away tents.

The campers say DoC had earlier reassured them the stream seldom flooded the campsite.

But the department's Hauraki area manager, Melissa King-Howell, says the department could not get contact into the Kauaeranga Valley that night and did not know it had flooded until the morning, when a part-time employee was sent in to help the campers.

She says there was no civil defence warning, and DoC does not normally warn campers whenever there is a heavy rain warning.