Drop by drop – Edgecumbe slowly gets drained of the floodwaters

Residents from the flooded part of Edgecumbe have to wait for the water to subside before they can get back to their homes. 

Pumps and generators are working around the clock to reclaim the town. Source: 1 NEWS

Pumps are being used 24-hours a day to remove as much water as possible. 

Drop by drop, litre by litre, Edgecumbe is slowly being drained of the floodwaters. 

"Water levels are dropping, not obviously as quickly as some of the landowners that are badly affected would like to see," said Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Bruce Crabbe. 

One of them, John Harold, grows kiwifruit. 

His land and house are underwater. 

"I've never seen anything like it. It's just unbelievable, really," he said. 

Twenty pumps on the perimeter of town are feeding waterways that go out to sea, engineers careful not to overload the system. 

"It's quite easy to put too much water in the top end of the canals and that water flows down and overflows into someone else's property," said Mr Crabbe. 

The regional council's also using gravity to get rid of the water. 

In four places around town, it's dug controlled cuts which allow water to escape from higher pastures to lower canals nearby. 

Mr Harold reckons it's just what they need at his place, but authorities say that would cut road access to neighbours, and are asking affected landowners to trust them.

"We're trying to get rid of the water as quickly as we possibly can," Mr Crabbe said. 

That job becoming all the more important given the latest weather forecast. 

"We have to be mindful of this weather even that's coming."

The big fear being that these floodwaters may not be the last.