Limitoo News

'We won't get things back to normal till six or eight months'

Slips have left houses in West Auckland's Titirangi teetering on hillsides and some residents are still without power and water after Friday's deluge.

The region saw record volumes of rainfall on Friday, when a severe thunderstorm and flooding claimed three lives.

One Woodbay Road resident said a huge slip hit his three-storey home.

"The whole house started shaking as it was being hit by the landslide on the way past, because there were like six or eight big tall trees up there, and it was like an avalanche with the trees surfing on top of the clay." 

Their home had been yellow-stickered after tree trunks collided with their house, with one tree smashing through a window into an upstairs bedroom and through their roof. 

Coastguard Titirangi in French Bay in Auckland after flooding
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

The walls and floors were also badly damaged. 

"We won't get things back to normal till six or eight months, I don't think, these cogs turn slowly, yeah, especially with insurance." 

He was staying with friends nearby but with the road cordoned off, he said he had been cut off from support. 

"I'm blind and I depend on my wife for transport, but her car's in this garage, we've been told we can't get the car down the driveway at the moment because ... we'll never get it out."

He had to walk to access the water tanker in the village and to his accommodation with friends. 

Volunteer firefighters in Titirangi told RNZ they had evacuated about 30-40 households due to slips since Friday night.

Those slips had left many households in jeopardy, many were unsure whether they could return home.

A slip on Otitori Bay Rd in Titirangi in Auckland
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

One of the major slips was down Otitori Road where a car and carport were sent down a bank.

Local resident Kate Simpson said the road had been an issue for years. 

"We've certainly had our concerns, that's for sure you know, seeing cracks coming up, footpaths, sort of deepening, I guess from the roadside, it's certainly not looking like it's a great spot to live in right now, it's really sad to see this."

Many residents were still without water and power. 

Watercare is warning the Titirangi community to be prepared for supply issues to continue over the next few days, with more damage due to slips and heavy rain to come. 

In the meantime, there was a water pump station available for residents. 

Auckland flooding - giving out water on South Titirangi Rd
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

RNZ spoke to residents who filled up during the lunchtime rush. 

"We've been out of water since Friday and there is no sign of it, I don't know what's going on, we don't really know. 

"We keep getting messages saying that they're going to do the best they can and they're finding faults all the time," said local Keri Bartlett. 

"It's been off since Saturday, so we've been showering at family and using buckets and filling up here, but I don't think we've got enough to like have a shower now or do a load of washing or anything like that," said Linda. 

In anticipation of tonight's heavy rain, the tanker had been sand bagged and there was a back-up generator on standby.  

Auckland flooding - Woodbay Road in Tititangi
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Local MP Deborah Russell was warning residents to prepare for the worst. 

"A lot of us are quite nervous, I've been asking people to make evacuation plans and to pack a bag, hopefully they won't need them, but it's so much easier if you've got a plan."

Russell said a lot of roads that had slips had been repaired in the past but admitted things were not up to scratch. 

"The repairs have often been fixing the cracking, but not necessarily underneath the cracks. 

"There has been a lack of road maintenance and it's not that people haven't been trying to keep on top of it, the local board does the best it can, but it's got a fairly limited budget."

Residents had been parking their cars on higher ground in anticipation of more rainfall, with many already evacuating their homes, the rest were bracing for what the night would bring.