Auckland Council Chief Executive, Jim Stabback says staff from across the organisation, including building inspectors, geotechnical engineers, compliance officers and stormwater engineers are providing local residents with the support they need since the flood clean-up began.
“This has been a significant event and the impacts have been felt throughout our entire region, and it’s not over yet,” Mr Stabback said.
“Our dedicated teams have swung into action swiftly to help Aucklanders most impacted.”
Seventy-two building inspectors were yesterday deployed to perform rapid impact assessments of buildings and houses that were severely impacted by slips, land subsidence and flood damage to understand if they were safe for people to be in.
Early this morning, a full-scale building assessment operation began with 130 council inspectors from Auckland and a further 15 inspectors from Hamilton and Tauranga. The operation will cover more than 5,000 dwellings and commercial buildings in over 25 suburbs, Mr Stabback said.
A team of 75 Healthy Waters staff and contractors are dealing with flooding requests for service, with more than 700 received as at 8am this morning, and nine closed landfill engineers have been inspecting the region’s closed landfill sites to check for any stability issues, he said.
Eight specialist coastal engineers and scientists have also been completing rapid inspections of coastal areas near stream outlets and supporting council’s parks and community facilities teams to assess asset damage.
“Teams of community facilities contractors have been working around the clock to clean up facilities and streets to make them safe for pedestrians and visitors, repair damage to council buildings and parks, and pump water out of sites,” Mr Stabback said.
He said that given the widespread nature of the weather event, it will take time to respond to the hundreds of requests for service and to get a full picture of the impacts.
“The severity of the storm means that our call centres have been experiencing four times the volumes of calls that we’d normally get in a weekend. We are prioritising calls where people and property are at risk and appreciate your patience.”
“We’ve seen during times of crisis how incredible Aucklanders are at supporting each other. While our teams work through the job ahead of us, I would ask everyone to help each other wherever they can, and to be patient while we work through a huge volume of requests for our help.
“I’m proud of the way our teams have quickly responded to help get support to the Aucklanders that need it most, even though many of our own staff and contractors were personally impacted by flooding at their own homes.
“I am grateful for the efforts of our emergency responders, and my heart goes out to those families who are facing the unimaginable.”
Mr Stabback added that he was grateful for the offers of support that have been received from central government agencies and other councils.
“As we work through what’s required, we’ll be drawing on any resources we can to help those affected as quickly as possible,” he said.
Several council facilities remain closed or have reduced services as a result of damage sustained to buildings or their surrounding area. A full list of service and facilities impacted is available here.
Civil Defence Centres
Those who need to evacuate and cannot stay with friends or whānau can go to one of the following:
- West: Leonards Road School, 15 Saint Leonards Road, Kelston
- North: Massey University Albany Campus, Sir Neil Walters Lecture Theatre, Massey University East Precinct, Albany Expressway SH17
- South: Mana Tukutuku, 32 Riverton Drive, Randwick Park
Bring with you any essential items you may need, e.g. medication, warm clothing, and baby items.
If you need help
- To report flooding, damage to drains, or stormwater issues, please log you issue online at https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/report-problem/Pages/report-a-problem.aspx
- To report a slip please call Auckland Council on 09 301 0101
- If your life is at risk, phone 111
- If you need urgent accommodation assistance, phone 0800 22 22 00
- For work and income support call 0800 400 100 or www.workandincome.govt.nz
- A full list of council facilities that are closed can be found online at https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Pages/emergency-facility-closures.aspx
Where to go to stay in the know:
· Water from the tap is safe to drink: https://www.watercare.co.nz/About-us/News-media/Important-information-for-customers-following-the
· Check Safeswim for water quality information.