Sunday, May 16, 2010

Residents of flooded homes airlifted

It could be days, according to Fairfax Media, till families who had to flee rising floodwaters could return to assess the damage.

Residents from 22 homes were rescued, including around 12 by helicopter. According to

Summit rescue helicopter paramedic Johnny Mulheron described chaos in the region, with roads washed out by mud and logs, and said some isolated families would remain stranded for up to three days.
A family – parents and two children – living on the Motueka River near Tapawera had a flash-flood go through their house and had to scramble up a steep bank to a neighbour's home, where they were rescued by helicopter.
"They were school-aged kids ... they were fairly upset but not physically hurt," Mr Mulheron said.
The helicopter spent about four hours flying up and down rivers – close to breaching their banks in many areas – checking on houses which were now cut off by the floods.
Police and Civil Defense have said repeatedly that they are unaware when the families will be able to return home, and that they are merely serving their best interests in safety.

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