Cleanup begins after wild weather and flooding in Whanganui and Rangitīkei

By Ethan Griffiths

Residents across Whanganui and Rangitīkei are cleaning up this morning, after significant rainfall caused flooding and slips across the region.

In Whanganui, the city recorded 62.8mm of rainfall, making it the country's wettest location on Monday.

Ohakea's weather station had 57.1mm of rain recorded.

Evacuations took place on Monday night, as floodwaters came close to entering homes across the region.

A flooded garage at Kaumatua Flats. Photo / Bevan Conley

Pūtiki Drive's Kaumatua Flats in Whanganui were evacuated around 9pm, after floodwaters submerged most of the property.

That flooding was caused by the Ngatarua Stream rising rapidly as a result of the heavy rain.

Whanganui Civil Defence manager Tim Crowe said eight houses were evacuated on and around Pūtiki Drive last night.

"We had about 15 people who were evacuated. Most found places to go, but three had to be accommodated."

Kaumatua Flats resident James Olney had to clear sodden belongings from his car that was flooded.

"The water went right up to the seat, I think it's probably a write-off."

Olney said he tried to get the car out, but by the time he noticed the floodwater, it was too late.

"It just came really quickly. I didn't think it would be that fast."

Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall said the council would spend time looking at how the rain caused such havoc around the district.

"We've got to look at what happened at the Ngatarua Catchment, which is just a small stream, but it obviously overtopped its banks in Pūtiki."

In Rangitīkei the flooding was primarily in Marton and Turakina, according the mayor Andy Watson.

"We had surface flooding on Oakleigh Ave and Grey Street in Marton, and I understand one property was evacuated due to risk of flooding."

Watson said that the council will go away and do some work on what exactly sparked the flooding, particularly in Turakina.

"We are worried about what you could call a flooding pattern. We'll need to go away and have a look at this."

Watson said he is expecting a briefing later this morning.

Franklin Rd in Turakina had knee-deep water and residents were told by Fire and Emergency to prepare for evacuation around 8pm last night.

A line of dirt along the fence shows where the flooding got to. Photo / Bevan Conley

There were also multiple slips on State Highway 3 near Rātana on Monday night, with the road reduced to one lane for a time.

A police spokesperson said on Tuesday morning they received "multiple weather-related calls" across Monday night.

"Police were made aware of reports of flooding at Franklin Road at Turakina, SH1 at Marton, SH3 at Marybank, SH3 at Bulls, SH3 at Waverley, Calico Line at Marton, Duncan St at Whanganui East, and the eastbound lane of Wanganui Road.

The Kaumatua Flats on Putiki Drive were evacuated on Monday night as wild weather struck Whanganui. Photo / Bevan Conley

"A large slip blocking Vinegar Hill Road was also reported around 11pm, and contractors were called to clear this."

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is urging motorists to take extra care on a number of roads around the region, including State Highway 1 between Bulls and Sanson.

- More to come


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