Community rallies during flooding

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks has praised his community in the wake of last week’s floods.

“The overwhelming feeling I have had has been one of pride in residents and those who have been working to make sure everyone is safe and secure.”

Everyone had pitched in and helped.

“It’s been fantastic and speaks volumes about our community spirit,” Mr Hicks said.

Gore District controller Ian Davidson-Watts said the response went amazingly well.

“We had people moved out of harm’s way in good time and we got them home, once the danger was over, in good time.”

Just over 3000 people were evacuated from Gore and Mataura last Wednesday.

This came after homeowners and businesses in Ontario Street were forced to evacuate on Tuesday afternoon due to the Waikaka Stream flooding.

Gore people, apart from Ontario Street, were allowed back home on Wednesday evening, while Mataura people were allowed to return on Thursday evening. Ontario Street was re-open on Friday morning.

When you consider the potential consequences had the flood waters been higher we should be all very thankful how the event ended up, Dr Davidson-Watts said.

“The rivers were only millimetres away from swamping Gore and Mataura.”

Dr Davidson-Watts acknowledged the suffering some members of the community have gone through and the challenges they will continue to face in the coming weeks.

“I believe our staff, contractors and the rest of the community pulled together to do the best for those who have suffered,” he said.

Things you should know:

  • Boil water notices are in place for Gore and the Otama Water Supply Scheme
  • Water tankers are at the Mataura community centre, Eccles Street playground and East Gore Arts Centre
  • Hamilton Park, the Waikaka Walkway, and the Gore dog park are closed to the public
  • The Mataura community centre will be open from 10.00am – 2.00pm each day until Friday 14 February

The Numbers

  • The Mataura River peaked at 2500cumecs at Gore
  • The Mataura River peaked at 2700cumecs at Mataura
  • Just over 152mms of rain fell between Sunday 2 February to Tuesday 4 February
  • Just over 3000 residents in Gore and Mataura were evacuated
  • Water entered 26 homes in the District – a lot more had water flowing underneath them
  • Over 270 homes and businesses were assessed by the Council’s building inspectors
  • About 300 people were looked after at the Calvin Church support centre
  • At one stage, all state highways into and out of Gore were closed


Community rallies during flooding