Floodwaters have wreaked havoc on cars, broken equipment and torn gardens in West Auckland since Monday night’s flooding.
Bethel Beach is cut off, an unknown number of people are out of their homes – and a group of boot camp colleagues are gathering to clean up.
In Topaki, resident Sharon describes the filth covering people’s property as “dirty, swampy, muddy, muddy, slippery, rebellious.”
He woke up to the ripples on his front deck and even saw a carp floating on Monday night – even though it’s an inner community.
Her home survived, but today she was counting the deaths in her garage and front yard.
“My car is written off and the truck won’t work. Dad works from home – a big garage is found. Everything is ruined.”
In the midst of Alert Level 4 restrictions, some residents have managed to find a helping hand for cleanliness.
Mike Lakton is also in Topaki and is one of half a dozen members of the MedFootboat camp who, when they heard about the damage to their trainers’ homes, moved in and donated their PPE.
“We just came to clean and tidy around the yard to make things safe for Ben and Jamie, just to help keep things safe for them and their young family,” he explained.
“The fence has been completely torn down. There was a meter and a half of water here so a lot of things in the shed have been destroyed, and the back garage, which is out of sleep – there’s a lot of furniture, so we’re trying to get out and save.” There are things we can do.
Covid 19 Response Minister Chris Hopkins has made it clear that it is okay to get involved in urgent work, as long as people follow public health measures, keep an eye on who they are with and do not gather in large groups.
People are urged to consider what work can wait for, and where physical distance is possible.
Hopkins said businesses, including plumbers, electricians and lock makers, could also work where there are immediate health and safety hazards.
But some of those who want to help are caught in the flood.
In Hopai, water tank cleaning owner Daniel Boat was trying – unsuccessfully – to start his work van today, one of three cars on the driveway that had sunk.
“Nothing will start,” he said.
Casey Keegan, owner of Comey Gym, said she was watching from a distance when floodwaters engulfed dozens of exercise machines.
“My husband Rob had some text messages to tell us that Komi was flooding so he came to our cameras,” she said.
“We could see here that the water was deep about the calf.”
He said the water was contaminated with septic waste – and expects very little to be saved.
Auckland Council has set up response teams today to assess the damage and it has not yet been confirmed how many homes are uninhabited.
A spokesman said there would be at least two groups of people in the emergency shelter tonight, while others were meeting with family and friends.
6 The two Civil Defense Centers and the Kame Community Center in Henderson Valley were previously open and are expected to close at 6 p.m.