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Wanganui Flooding (Whanganui - New Zealand)


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Hi as many of you know, I live in New Zealand - in a place called Wanganui (or Whanganui - there is a bit of an argument over how to spell it according to Maori tradition).

Wanganui is a quaint town, one of our oldest in NZ - keeping in mind NZ is a pretty recent country to be settled relatively speaking. We are blessed with a huge river that runs right through the town/city. I have lived here for almost thirty years, didnt really like it to begin with, but it is a beautiful place.

On Saturday night, it all changed, at least temporarily. It had been raining constantly and heavily for about 48 hours previous to Saturday night. We woke up Saturday morning prepared to head out field service, had breakfast, and said right lets see if its raining at 8 am - it got worse so we hunkered down for the day and then Igot a phone call from my daughter who lives on the other side of the island. She said Mum have you seen the flooding (We don't get TV) she said it's really bad. So my son and I went for a drive to ascertain how bad it was ... I also had to check on my shop in town. We got down near the river front and the pavement was underwater just from too much rain at this stage, so I thought hmmm its not good but I've seen worse.

Went to visit my mother in law to make sure she was okay, there was a trickle from a stream at the end of her street, it has just started to overflow, then when we went home it had already become a raging river.

Next thing we knew the mayor Annette announced the army was here to help us, it was then i realised that our swollen river was at low tide ... seeing how high it was at low tide made me realise we were in for trouble when it became high tide.

Sure enough at 10 pm Saturday Night the mighty Whanganui River breached its banks and many stopbanks and flowed into many houses and businesses flooding them with silt and raw sewage.

Please see this link for more on the story:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=1149098&ref=NZH_FBpage

If this link doesn't work then search WANGANUI FLOODING 2015 in youtube or www.stuff.co.nz or the Wanganui Chronicle.

Many of our brothers and sisters became stranded some because of slips (many of 1000's around the region) blocking their way back in or being cut off from flood waters. We had three suburbs cut off from the main city and Wanganui itself was cut off from the rest of the Country for a good two days.

Today a family from our congregation who were out with their Grandmother on a farm were airlifted by helicopter to safety and they are now home. We still have one or two families isolated up the river on their farms and three families isolated out in the country a way.

An eldery elder and his wife from our sister congregation was evacuated and it sounds like they lost everything sadly. A few other witnesses self evacuated and are now faced with a clean up but thankfully little loss.

So all in all on one hand it's our worst flooding ever, but on the other, no fatalaties or even serious injuries that I've heard of as yet. So we have much to be thankful for. The brothers were amazing they all rang and checked on everyone and although our meeting was down in numbers we enjoyed encouraging association and it was a relieve really to know everyone was okay and things felt normal again for a while.

I have some photos to show you guys - I'll do that in some further posts.

Please though ... there are brothers and sisters here who need some prayers and lots of mental hugs. Thanks for reading this. - Mandi xk

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My front yard was a huge lake that ended up meeting with the huge lake from my next door neighbour which threatened neighbours below us which was scary for a bit - glad the rain stopped when it did.

The first picture is of one of our children's park - with just the tops of different things poking through the river.

In fact, the street opposite the park entrance there, is the street the Elder and his wife live - that is the one who got evacuated and has lost everything.

The second is pet rescue via kayak - this is for Van I know she loves the dogs.

post-5482-0-65098000-1435045354_thumb.jp

post-5482-0-22509900-1435045407_thumb.jp


Edited by Stormswift
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Just want to say that the photos aren't mine ... they are saved from some of the pics that have been shared on Facebook.

What is interesting is even as I sit here and type this, I can hear helicopters over head and sirens still. At least now we have power and the internet is much better.

Our hope now is that we don't get more rain for a while.

Thank you Brother Greg for your post.

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Yes our kingdom Hall is just fine. Just heard yesterday that a sister narrowly escaped a collapsing bridge as a torrent broke it to bits and my hubby is just checking on a brother who is manager of a business in the affected area.

The same weather system brought really bad and unusual snow falls in the South Island (unusual because instead of the usual airy fluffy snow - the snow this time contained alot of water and was weightier than normal).

It is times like these that being part of a united organization becomes very apparent and I know the brothers and sisters will be appreciative of any support especially prayers.

Thanks for your posts.

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Oh Mandi, it looks very devastating! Thanks for keeping us up to date.  Wish we could put you up, or help:)  But be assured we are praying for you!  Hugs!

Thank you for your kind offer, but because my house is on a wee hill, non of the flood waters affected our home. The area I live in is called Springvale and it used to be very marshy before it was built up, so has a very high water table, it doesn't take much to flood my front section, although this was much worse, I am actually used to having little lakes in my front lawn. I don't want to see what happened on Sat again though.

Most of the families who left their homes on Sat have family or the brothers and sisters put them up, so really its the clean-up that is going to be the horrible part and the fear of further flooding.

The family who were airlifted just live down the road from me, and the sisters mum has this gorgeous farmlet quite a distance from Wanganui, they were faced with being there for up to a month cut off, because of the huge slips.

Three young hunters were also stranded with them, and they had some venison and gave it to them, so even in isolated areas, should they have had to stay Jehovah provided them with food through the kindnesses of others. Thankfully though, the helicopter got them back yesterday and the son even had to go to school much to his disdain.

So all in all could have been much worse, and can't be compared with flooding in other countries where people have been swept to their death, once lives are lost it becomes a whole new ballgame. Thankfully it was only property.

Will keep you updated with progress and if anything further happens.

Again, thanks for this forum, it is a great tool for uniting us all.

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We are all sending our love and prayers of encouragement and strength to you and all the brothers and sisters. Please be safe and remember this is only temporary, soon this system will be over for all of us to have a new beginning that will last forever. Hugs!!!

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