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Storm Review

A number of issues emerge from my previous posts on the storm, and its aftermath.

First and foremost, can I correct any impression I may have created in regard to the information that TCDC  put out to the media on the Saturday morning. This was done very efficiently through Andrews Mehrtens who I believe was on the job from very early.

My complaint, and that of others, was that the information flow through Coromandel FM was virtually non-existent, and separately that the TCDC answering service was totally inadequate for a contingency that was well signaled in advance.

There was just inconvenience involved, mainly resulting from slips and localized flooding, and consequently no need for the declaration of an emergency which would have triggered a higher level response, but there remained the need for accurate information. 

The radio situation needs to be examined by those in authority. It turns out that Big Valley Radio (90.8) was on to it from 3am taking information from TCDC,and that it, and its affiliates on the coast were broadcasting information from very early on.

The main Peninsula station - Coromandel FM, failed to broadcast  road warnings or information until after 7am, and only then inadequately. It apparently had difficulty getting staff on board due to slips and other problems, but this is just not good enough, and resulted in the complaints that appeared in my post, and others reported verbally to me.

The question of TCDC's answer and response service for contingencies such as occurred last Saturday is another matter, and also needs review. When we have warnings such as were given on Thursday and Friday prior to the storm, there is surely no reason why TCDC cannot provide operators for the crisis period who know the district and who can satisfy the need for accurate information and response.

It is no use whatsoever to have an operator in another city trying to understand unfamiliar geography, and whether it is an Environment Waikato, Transit NZ or TCDC matter, and then trying raise the appropriate contractor.

It was amateur hour on Saturday morning in this regard, and with the likelihood of an increasing number of these incidents, it is time for the authorities concerned to get their heads together and sort it out.



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Reader Comments (1)

It doesn't stop there...tried to find out from Thames Information Centre when the Cathedral Cove track would be opened and they didn't seem to know that it was closed! Whitianga Info Centre did know however!!!

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Feran

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