The official Auckland reporting station got something like 10” of rain on Friday. In our neighborhood, the total was more like 12” according to some amateur meteorologists. Our driveway turned back into the stream it once was. But luckily our house sits out of the path so no damage to us.
Lots of friends and neighbors had their basements get wet. We know one person whose ground-level apartment was chest deep underwater, and her car was completely submerged. Yuck! The bowling / pétanque club took on close to a foot of water, so we went down and helped clean up.
There were a lot of mudslides, and with so many houses perched on hillsides or next to cliff edges, the damage will be costly. In the shot above, that house is a lot closer to the edge of the cliff than it used to be, and the public tennis court is out of service for the foreseeable. Surely this flood will reignite the discussion about letting the whole Little Shoal Bay park complex go back to marshy wetlands.
We’ve lived through floods before, one-day events like this as well as the big Midwest floods of 1993 and 1995. People will recover and rebuild. But it will be hard, and it will eat up so much of the financial breathing room for affected families and the whole city over the next couple of years… instead of doing whatever was next on the list, our efforts will step back down the hierarchy of needs ladder by a step or two. It’s a shame, although I think unavoidable with this many people living in this particular place. Of course drainage systems could be improved, but the cost of truly flood-proofing all the houses and roads in Auckland would be unacceptable.