East Coast MP Kiri Allan told residents at a public meeting this afternoon she just had to check on flood-ravaged Tokomaru Bay.
“I don’t have much to say. I’m just up here, really, as your local MP. I live down State Highway 35. So I couldn’t not come up the road just to mihi to you all,” the Emergency Management Minister said just three weeks after finishing cancer treatment.
The Labour MP was out yesterday and today inspecting the damage caused by heavy rain and flooding in Tokomaru Bay and Waipiro Bay. She said she saw a lot of damage to homes on Arthur Street.
“For those whānau that have been displaced, my aroha is with you.”
Allan praised people for coming together to help each other out.
“It’s nothing new for you all. There is that real sense of resilience among you as a whānau.
“I’ll be frank. It’s a lot worse than what I had anticipated. So, I’m glad to be out here on the ground.”
Civil Defence crews are on the ground in the region today assessing the damage caused by the weekend’s heavy rain.
Gisborne District Council Civil Defence and Emergency manager Ben Green said crews had a “fair idea” about the damage, and today was about taking stock.
“What we've really seen is [rain has] been quite localised, quite heavy in parts, and that's what has contributed to what's happened here in Tokomaru," Green said.
MetService estimated that within a span of 12 hours, about 100mm of rain had fallen in some parts of northern Gisborne.
The region's roads will take some time to clean up with State Highway 35 at Turihau Point, 25km north of Gisborne, down to one lane due to ocean inundation.
The state highway is open in and out of Tokomaru Bay. However, a slip north of Hicks Bay is blocking the entire road and contractors believe it could take one or two days to clear.
Allan was diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer in April. She returned home from hospital earlier this month after finishing nine weeks of treatment.