Watch: Confronting images show scale of serious flooding in Greymouth after 75mm of rain falls in two hours

Very heavy rain this morning has caused flooding in the West Coast town of Greymouth and the surrounding areas.

NIWA reported that more than 153mm of rain had fallen in Greymouth in the past two days.

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Greymouth flooding.
Greymouth flooding. Source: NZ Police

The rainfall is more than the previous 66 days combined - a dry stretch which caused a drought to be declared in the region yesterday.

Surface flooding in Greymouth.
Surface flooding in Greymouth. Source: NZ Police

MetService reported that about 75mm of rain fell in two hours this morning and imagery from the town shows considerable surface flooding.

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the town "was very much flooded", and a creek is going through houses near the Ashley Hotel. 

He said they were worried about rain this afternoon, combined with a high tide. 

A little flooding won't stop this Greymouth postie from delivering mail.
A little flooding won't stop this Greymouth postie from delivering mail.

The Ministry of Education office in Greymouth has been closed due to flooding, the ministry said through its twitter account.

The New Zealand Transport Agency reports that numerous slips have taken place and motorists are advised to stay safe, delay travel if possible and stay up to date with road conditions on the NZTA website.

Postie in Greymouth battles through floodwater to deliver mail.
Postie in Greymouth battles through floodwater to deliver mail. Source: Sarah Chatfield

NZTA says river levels are very high, and have reached warning levels for some rivers.

The Grey District Council is updating residents on its Facebook page, and the Red Cross is deploying its disaster welfare and support teams. 

Surface flooding in Greymouth.
Surface flooding in Greymouth. Source: NZ Police

Considerable rain is still forecast for the next 24 hours.

'It's 3am and I am not sleeping' - harrowing police officer Facebook post relives misery of crash scene

The late night anguish of a veteran police officer has been laid bare in an extended Facebook post reliving the raw emotion of informing a father his daughter has died in a car crash.

The entry on Waikato Police's Facebook page was composed at 3.53am this morning, as an officer of 20 years experience struggled to cope with the misery of a crash scene he had attended the day prior.

"Yesterday, when I attended another fatal between Matamata and Waharoa, well, it was just another and I emotionally went into that space that I go to when I attend," the officer wrote.

"I don’t do tears and I don't do emotion. I switch off and go into professional mode."

Describing how this particular crash was a breaking point of sorts for the officer, the post details a crash in which a woman died in a car carrying her husband and two children.

Traveling in a car ahead was the dead woman's father, who the officer meets at the crash scene.

"In my unemotional unattached professional manner, I got all the kids and victims details," the officer says. 

"He then asked... "My daughter is dead isn't she?" Oh hell, how do I react to that? He was teary, and so was I.

"I don't do tears and I don't do emotion.... up until that point. I think I mumbled "yes she is".

"To be confronted by a dad who has lost his daughter, a husband who has lost his wife, and two kiddies who have lost their mum, it just brought the tragedy home."

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To end the long post of despair at the carnage he has witnessed on Kiwi roads, the office admits he's not sure what "he's trying to achieve by sharing this".

In summing it up all he can offer is that the personal tragedy emergency services encounter through their work "affects everyone".

The constable who wrote the piece has his name withheld to protect his privacy.

Waikato Police shared the post with the hope that it would further enforce their road safety message"

When things go wrong it affects us, but we still have families intact to help us get through it and in this case, a little support from Facebook friends," Highway Patrol's Senior Sergeant Pete Van De Wetering wrote to preface the post. 

"The victims of road crashes no longer have the same intact families and their lives have been shattered in so many ways, so their pain is far greater."

A Waikato Police officer has taken to Facebook in the hours of the early morning to recount the horror of a crash scene he attended. Source: Waikato Police


Rat hunt on after footprints found on pest-free Tiritiri Matangi Island

A rat is believed to have made it on to the Tiritiri Matangi island reserve, and a large-scale response is underway to find and eradicate it.

The Department of Conservation today said footprints were found inside a tracking tunnel on the island, showing a rat had passed through some time between New Year and January 7.

Since then, two pest-detection dogs and handlers were sent to the island, and 50 additional traps and 60 additional tracking tunnels have been deployed.

Tiritiri Matangi is home to takahe, kiwi, kokako and little spotted kiwi and has been pest free since 1993.

There are also tuatara, wetapunga and five types of native lizard on the island.

It is more than 3km from the mainland and DOC said it is no known how the rat made it, but visiting vessels were most likely to blame.

Rat Source: