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Storm Response

Top marks to our excellent Volunteer Fire Brigade for their response both during the night and the morning following the storm. The basement of our home was flooded, along with many others on the hill side of Tararu Road as the result of debris blocking the culvet on the stream just south of the old Anglican Church - the resulting damage to surrounding properties was substantial, but the Brigade guys and girls just got stuck in and did an amazing clean up job. I understand that this action was replicated around the district.

We are totally dependent on the response teams - both contractors and emergency services. This Peninsula, probably more than any other is a sitting duck for so many natural disasters, and relies on the skill and sheer common sense of Civil Defense in particular in order to bring about the properly co-ordinated response that these emergencies demand.

I certainly sleep better knowing that Ron White is in charge, and that he has a dedicated team around him and across the Civil Defense District which includes Hauraki and Matatmata-Piako.

The Council will as usual face numerous complaints regarding lack of response, and after-hours operators who during the early stages display amazing ignorance of district geography and needs. This is inevitable - TCDC has to rely of a remote centralised contractor to provide the service for obvious reasons, but it certainly has its drawbacks. Further, there remains considerable public confusion as to the respective responsibilities of Environment Waikato, Transit NZ, and TCDC.

My only suggestion is that when a cyclone of Wilma's proportion is forecast by the Met. Service, that it should not be beyond the wit of TCDC to arrange to have their own people monitor phones for the critical period. The forecasts are now so accurate that we should know when the Peninsula is going to be hit, and hit hard.  Blind Ned would have known that we were in for it on Friday/Saturday. Operators in Timbuctoo, or wherever are well prepared to deal with noise complaints, but floods and road closures are another matter. The response I obtained at 6.30 on Saturday morning was pathetic to say the least.



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Reader Comments (4)

Glad to hear that the emergency services were onthe ball around your area Bill, baut I still have a compaint that the council, the Government, or somebody does not supply a local information service.
Would it not be possible to have an hourly or half hourly slot to update locals on the state of roads or other facilities. The local station continues its monotonous ads as if nothing had happened. Apparently Tapu could not advise anyone of their isolaton because of voicemail only, or out of date web sites.
Like many others I want to know what is happening.

January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoy Gamby

I hope that your comment draws a response from the Council Joy, because you are quite right - the main radio station provides no service whatsoever in this situation - it is as if they are on auto-pilot come the weekend - any weekend.
Thank you

January 31, 2011 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

What a pity you missed our half hourly broadcasts from 3am sourced from NZTA who had people on all night, and TCDC who had a media feed and web feed running from early Saturday. Our locally owned station did have someone wake up at 3am because the forecasts and warnings had been supplied in the previous 24 hours. I must defend CFM as well, they did get someone in, and were running information bulletins from 7am at least. We ran closure information on SH25 north and south of Tapu from about 5am Saturday. We ran hourly road information from Sunday and it is still running because there are still problems. We don't get paid to do this, it's just part of what radio does.

February 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Jeffares

I was referring to Coro FM of course - several people told me that they had been unable to pick up any information from that direction. I was out digging in the Tararu drain from 6.30, and draining our own basement until midday so missed any broadcasts myself. I should have made further inquiries - very poor work on my part. Thank you.

February 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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