Last week saw devastating floods in the town of Edgecumbe in the beautiful Bay of Plenty. Heartfelt sympathies to all who have been affected by this carnage. I was living in that region during the 2004 floods so saw the devastation then myself. Fortunately we lived on higher ground so were unaffected.
Further down the page is a link to a Give a Little campaign for those affected recently.
It seems little known that back in 1945 plans for subdivision in Edgecumbe were declined by the Dept of Lands because the area would always be subject to flooding they said ….
“…the township of Edgecumbe will be subject always to serious and dangerous flood hazard”.
Read the article archived at the National Library NZ
However opponents to that advice or ruling won the day as can be seen in the article and the town was built.
I’ve gathered together here a few articles on the topic and note the frequent reference to Edgecumbe being flood prone but nowhere can I see any reference to the advice of the Department of Lands back in 1945 to not build there.
Thursday in pictures: Edgecumbe evacuated in ‘500-year event’
Everyone has been told to leave. People are being evacuated from the Bay of Plenty town of Edgecumbe where the Rangitaiki River has breached, flowing into the township.
READ MORE (pictures of flooding included)
Q&A: What is a one in 500-year flood, and does that really apply to Edgecumbe?
Edgecumbe’s flood has been identified as the greatest flood on record – but is it truly “a 500-year flood”, as has been suggested?
Bay of Plenty Regional Council made the claim after the Rangitaiki River burst through stopbanks designed for a one-in-100 year flood event, gushing into hundreds of homes and forcing 1600 people to evacuate.
Though the weather has cleared, houses remain sodden and filled with mud, and some will be condemned due to structural damage. Residents will be allowed to return briefly to fetch necessities, but it could be up to 10 days before many occupants can go home to inspect the damage and find out what they’ve lost.
Flood-ravaged Edgecumbe residents vent their fury at officials during fiery townhall meeting
Hundreds of displaced Edgecumbe residents stormed out of a public meeting as fraying tempers tipped over into anger on Saturday night.
Bleachers were packed with families, children, and elderly, many hugging and comforting each other as the meeting endured and officials appeared to fail to answer the more pressing questions.
The crowd frequently heckled the speakers, often appearing enraged.
PM sees Edgecumbe flooding for himself
“We are on a path for solutions in the long term.
He says there are no funding issues related to national disaster recovery, despite New Zealand’s particularly bad decade.
“We don’t let funding get in the way of providing the support that’s needed by the households, the businesses, and the farms, to a reasonable level, to help them get them back on their feet.”
Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne says there will be a full investigation to why the flooding protection system didn’t work and what can be done in the future to prevent this from happening again.
Bill says given the destruction there is bound to be a lot of opinions but there needs to be a full understanding of a town that is on a flood plain.
Edgecumbe and the Bay of Plenty have shaky, flood-prone histories
Edgecumbe lies on a flood plain and an active seismic zone.
The township and the surrounding area has an unenviable history of natural disasters: quakes, floods, and debris flows.
Many parts of the plains are below sea level.
Here is a link to the Give a Little page for help for families affected in this event…
Edgecumbe & Eastern Bay of Plenty (EBOP) Mayoral Flood Appeal
This Mayoral Flood Appeal fund has been launched to support families & individuals through the recovery phase following the 6/4 flood event.