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Thoughts are with Edgecumbe

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, April 6th, 2017 - 43 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, global warming - Tags: , , , ,

I’m sure today that all our thoughts are with Edgecumbe, and others who are at the sharp end of (climate change enhanced) extreme weather.

Live: Edgecumbe township evacuated as ex-tropical cyclone Debbie sweeps NZ

Live: Edgecumbe evacuates as wall of water hits town in wake of Debbie

Photo from the Whakatane Beacon:

43 comments on “Thoughts are with Edgecumbe”

  1. Sabine 1

    oh good grief.

  2. Spare billion or two available, prior to budget, so expect joyce /double dipper will distribute it all around NZ to help flood clean-ups in affected areas. Bravo national .

    • Sabine 2.1

      Well they would have to spare a fucking billion or two for what is a national disaster.

      Bravo? Fuck me the bar is low for National to succeed. Look over here, a town flooded completely,what ja reckon Bill do you think it would make us look good if we gave them the tax payers funds raised to help with national disasters?

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        EQC, thats what it does

        • Sabine 2.1.1.1

          i think they are running out of money if it continues like this.

          i have family in this area. We can’t even reach them, not by landline not by mobile.

          • dukeofurl 2.1.1.1.1

            Its a street of houses in Edgecumbe, hardly the whole of New Orleans
            View Larger Topographic Map

            • Sabine 2.1.1.1.1.1

              yes dear.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.1.2

              the whole town has been evacuated duke.

              • weka

                2,000 people and the army’s been brought in to help. Sounds like a bit like New Orleans to me, or are you saying that small numbers don’t matter?

                And they’ve had to evacuate one of the evacuation centres.

                Hope your people are ok Sabine.

                • dukeofurl

                  No it doesnt sound like New Orleans
                  “The population of New Orleans fell from 484,674 before Katrina (April 2000) to an estimated 230,172 after Katrina (July 2006) — a decrease of 254,502 people and a loss of over half of the city’s population.
                  ) By July of 2015, the population was back up to 386,617 — 80% of what it was in 2000.”[Plus large areas were uninhabitable, hospitals ruined etc]
                  Edgecumbe around 1500 people.
                  Its terrible for the people affected no matter how small- It happend in the small town we lived in when I was in primary school.

                  • weka

                    ok, so for you smaller numbers mean less compassion, good to know.

                    • adam

                      Come on weka, after years on the standard you know many of the trolls have no compassion, nor indeed a moral center at all.

                    • dukeofurl

                      “Its terrible for the people affected no matter how small” is what I said

                      You could learn to read beyond a 8 yr level ! You were just wrong about new Orleans, thats all.

                      In 2004 , the year before Katrina, Edgecumbe had a very similar flooding.

                    • weka

                      We’re talking about different things. In the middle of a crisis where people’s lives are being massively changed over the long term, you wanted to argue about size. The rest of us were talking compassion.

                      btw, if you want your comments to be understandable, play more attention to formatting.

                  • Sabine

                    so because New Orleans was a bigger disaster i am not allowed to worry about our little town disaster?

                    right, well bless yer cottonsocks, how could i forget to ask first for ranking on the scale of bullshit.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Do you even read anything before using the keyboard ? Theres a pattern of inanity from you.

                      I specifically said-“Its terrible for the people affected no matter how small”

  3. joe90 3

    A century of river diversions, stop bank construction, drainage canals and pumping schemes – meet Debbie.

    Stormwater for Edgecumbe was developed around the adjoining rural drainage canals. With the general fall away from the river the canals do not discharge directly to the Rangitaiki River. Land to the west drains via the Omeheu canal to the Tarawera River, while the east side drains to the Reids Canal in the floodway. The township has a simple layout of piped and open drains. Always somewhat challenged by drainage, Edgecumbe’s situation deteriorated in this regard after the 1987 earthquake in which the land was lowered by up to 2m. Land which had previously drained under gravity to the adjacent Omeheu canal system has subsequently had to rely on pumping.
    This exacerbated drainage and stormwater problems for the residential subdivisions which had been built, with hindsight perhaps unwisely, on low lying land over the previous 10-20 years.

    https://www.waternz.org.nz/Attachment?Action=Download&Attachment_id=1174

    • Xanthe 3.1

      This was inevitable after the 1987 earthquake turned edgcumbe into another “new orleans” The time to move habitation out of edgcumbe was 1987. That would suggest that sucessive governments of various hues have failed here.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.1

        The whole plains are basically below the normal river level, but yes the earthquake led to a land settlement of -2.05m at Edgecumbe and -0.46m at Te Teko.
        What cant have helped is nearer the coast near Matata the land rose +0.14m

  4. weka 4

    Great story about people rescuing other people. Some people had no time to evacuate or save belongings,

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/328295/'i'm-just-glad-i'm-out-i've-got-my-little-dog

    It also raises some issues about why people weren’t prepared for the emergency. Was anyone monitoring the stopbank or was it considered safe? I imagine these questions will come up over the next days/weeks.

    • DoublePlusGood 4.1

      And why, given forecasts for massive amounts of rain, did the power company that owns the two hydro dams on the Rangitaiki river not ditch as much water as possible so they could reduce flooding on the plain as much as possible.

      • dukeofurl 4.1.1

        They did increase the flow before the rain came, but the volumes were so huge they didnt have much affect.

    • Sabine 4.2

      we just got word from our family.

      they woke up to water in their house being over a meter high. they are now upstairs.
      everything, every photo, every carving, every weaving, every medal all just gone, chickens floating, and the only way we got to know was one of the brothers drover there, and then loaned a canoe and peddled to the house.

      complete write off, they are in their seventies and have lost everything.

      btw, this is tane atua

      • weka 4.2.1

        Really sorry to hear that 🙁 I haven’t had that happen to me, but I’ve seen someone else go through that kind of sudden, extensive loss, that’s very hard.

      • Jenny Kirk 4.2.2

        Not good, Sabine. They’ll be feeling shattered. Sympathy. (easy to say, not so easy for them to live with).

      • Carolyn_nth 4.2.3

        Sorry to read that. It must be devastating to lose a lifetime of mementos, achievements and, just everything that matters to them.

      • r0b 4.2.4

        Very sorry Sabine. Thank goodness they are safe.

        • Sabine 4.2.5.1

          we go there tomorrow.

          Mum will be fine or at least pretend she will.
          they stayed put for the three pooches, so three adults, three dogs in the upstairs bedroom.
          Brother Nr. 2 will be taking the canoe back to the house to see what they need, supposedly the water is going to drop.

          We will be going there tomorrow, drop of my car – all three cars are gone – so they at least have transport. And then we will see if we can salvage some of hers and Bills family heirloom and then rebuild. whatjagonnado?

          And ladies and gentlement, prepare yourself cause these storms are increasing, and our ‘terra forming’ bullshit is not going to help us weather these storms one bit.

          • dukeofurl 4.2.5.1.1

            Some good news though, even though you take an estimate of the increased rainfall over the next 50 years means the 1 in 200 year (0.5%) becomes the 1 in 100 year ( 1%) events.
            The river flow volume would rise something like 12% and would mean the river level would be 30cm higher.[ These figures were done for the river at Whakatane, could be generally similar at Edgecumbe.]

            Another factor to consider is the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation as it affects NZ

            ‘This cycle has more immediate impact on flood frequency than global
            warming The IPO cycle is strongly correlated to heavy rainfall and floods in the Bay of Plenty resulting in successive “benign” and “active: phases. These phases persist for 20 to 30 years. The cycle shifted to a “benign” phase in the mid-1970’s and subsequently to an “active” phase around 1997-98. ‘

            https://www.boprc.govt.nz/media/33067/Report-0809-FinalWWFMStrategy.pdf

            lest hope for the BOP region the benign phase doesnt last much longer.

  5. rhinocrates 5

    John Campbell just answered a listener’s question about the whereabouts of Brownlee, who has gone AWOL. He replied that Brownlee does not talk to them under any circumstances.

    The Minster of Civil Defence refuses to appear on National Radio, the default broadcaster in emergencies during an actual emergency because the coward’s ego matters more to him than doing his job.

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      hasnt Paula Bennett been ‘fronting’ for this issue with the TV networks

      Until I read this I thought she was Minister of Civil Defence

  6. Muttonbird 6

    Had to laugh at another NZDF puff piece on the radio this afternoon. When asked how many NZDF personnel were in the town the reply was…

    …three.

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    Climate change has arrived with a vengeance. And we are not prepared for it. This sort of event will keep on happening. Stop banks, drainage, dams, houses built low onto flood plains, other homes built right on cliff edges …………. what do we need to do to get to grips with living reasonably into the future with these sorts of climate events happening ?

    • Carolyn_nth 7.1

      On Checkpoint this evening, a former Whakatane mayor (Colin Holmes) said that, if the authorities had taken climate change seriously, they’d have prepared adequately so that such flooding didn’t happen.

    • tc 7.2

      The east coast has dodged this for years now, it was only a matter of time/luck before a tropical event didn’t deviate/de-power/dissapate completely into a normal storm front.

      Get used to this NZ we’re in the zone and vote for a govt who will tackle the challenges we face being a tiny few islands at the bottom of the planet.

      My heart goes out to all involved, this is where the awesome rural NZ spirit kicks in and we didn’t get a summer on the west coast at all this year by way of contrast.

      Climate change….you’re standing in it.

    • Sabine 7.3

      Look, we don’t even have anything resembling a ‘public’ response in how to deal with these emergency.

      like nothing, ask yourself, where is your local shelter? Do you know who in your street would need assistance with evacuation in case of? Is there a pet friendly shelter? What to do with people who refuse evacuation because they have livestock or pets? What to do with children in an evacuation if the parents are at work.
      etc etc etc

      oh yea, ring 111

      Knowing that our fair country is known to extremes – Earthquakes, Floods – we should be organised like the Cubans, not because it ‘might’happen, but because it will happen.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba_Emergency_Response_System

  8. Rightly or wrongly 8

    The whole eatern bay area where Edgecombe is located was once tidal swamp around or below sea level.

    It was then drained, cleared, and farmed on.

    As was shown in the Edgecombe (and Christchurch) quake it doesn’t take much for land to revert back to its original condition.

    The reality is that the Rangitiki river should have its own floodway like the Manawatu river.

    I lived around there for 7 years and when it rains there is a huge catchment which is concentrated on a small low lying area that just cant discharge it fast enough.

  9. dukeofurl 9

    We seem to have continuing problems with flooding in this town- fundamentally the land is below the river level

    “In July 2004 a 100 yr flood in the Rangitaiki River breached the main river stopbank
    upstream of Edgecumbe. Water overwhelmed the Reids Floodway and flooded 17,000 ha of farmland. Parts of eastern Edgecumbe were extensively flooded, the main Transpower substation isolated, State Highway 2 washed out and the Fonterra dairy factory flooded.
    Where the Rangitaiki River crosses the Plains below Te Teko it is elevated above the
    surrounding land by natural levees. Some lower areas closer to the coast are below sea
    level with drainage impeded by a series of beach ridges which extend inland a
    considerable distance. An extensive system of river diversions, stop banking, drainage
    canals and pumping schemes built over the last 100 years has enabled the Plains to be
    developed into a rich agricultural landscape supporting dairy farming and horticulture.
    However the land’s origin as a large wetland is obvious as is its tendency to revert to its
    original condition.
    The township of Edgecumbe (population 1700) is a service town for the surrounding rural area and the site of the Fonterra dairy factory. The town straddles the river. Originally established on the higher land beside the river, over the years it has expanded onto the lower land to the west.
    View Larger Topographic Map

    https://www.waternz.org.nz/Attachment?Action=Download&Attachment_id=1174

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