'Everything was floating - even the fridge'Save
By Vaimoana Tapaleao
Residents in the New Lynn, Titirangi, Glen Eden and neighbouring areas are today busy cleaning out garages and their homes following devastating floods over the weekend.
Tino Antonio, 38, was at his family's home on Parker Ave yesterday when the rainwater they thought would start to recede only began to get higher and higher.
"We were just watching the water get higher and higher and then I thought: 'I better move the truck'."
The family house is a two-storey building.
Downstairs was left completely covered and furniture was ruined.
He said he and other family members quickly checked their neighbours to make sure everyone was okay.
His neighbour, Warren Crowe, 57, was on the phone to the insurance company when the Herald arrived.
He had been on there for about 40 minutes.
"They said they're getting a lot of calls."
Crowe did not realise how heavy the rain was until he looked outside and thought the fence had disappeared.
"It was completely covered - you couldn't see the fence.
"I'd seen [the water] coming through but didn't think it would come up that high."
A dirty outline around his home indicated where the heavy rains had come up to.
His black car sitting in the carport had no chance and was now completely written off, he said.
"The car's full with water, the boot's full of water and...probably the petrol tank."
Things weren't any better inside, with soaked carpet and entertainment and other furniture heavily damaged.
"The water was coming through the hall, so I threw down some towels - that didn't work."
Crowe pointed to his shirt - which says "Bugger".
"Yeah, well I put it on last night and, well, yeah. Sums it up."
Up the road in Titirangi, residents were also sweeping floors and pulling up ruined bits of carpet and felt.
Russell Geddes, 50, said yesterday's heavy rains had been particularly damaging; washing through the basement and flooding the backyard.
"It's like walking on a sponge."
He acknowledged their family was one of the lucky ones as they had insurance and were going to be okay.
But that still did not help how upsetting the ordeal had been.
"It is a bit heartbreaking. My wife came home - she came home Friday and we seemed to have survived it.
"But she was working yesterday. I called her in... she said last night that she could cry.
"But what do you do? You just get on with it."
Geddes said an elderly couple nearby had had to deal with two days of flash flooding on their property, after the lid connecting to a stormwater pipe at the top of their driveway popped up.
Heavy rains burst the heavy lid off on Friday evening and again yesterday, even after neighbours and the couple's grandson weighed it down with a heavy bit of concrete.
The couple's downstairs garage area was flooded about ankle-deep.
Other family members had been in to help clear the mess and remove the drenched carpet.
Residents at an apartment building on Great North Rd said they were facing an uncertain future as they were currently having to stay in a motel because the damage to their homes was so severe.
Gurvinder Singh, his sister, Sarab Jeet, and her husband, Ravinder Singh, had been living in their flat for just over two weeks.
Gurvinder Singh, 20, said many of their possessions had been damaged by the flooding, which reached worrying heights in their small apartment.
"We ran upstairs because the water just kept rising.
"Everything was floating - even the fridge," he said.
His car was one of the lucky ones as it was not parked in an underground carport.
Other residents' vehicles sat inside there still; unable to start.
Many of the building's residents had been evacuated and put up in motels.
Singh's family were among the few who had come back this afternoon; putting out soaked-through shoes, furniture and clothes as if it were the washing.