Every Tauranga firefighter and every fire truck was called out last night dealing with a queue of incidents caused by heavy rain that overwhelmed gutters and drains.
A total of 30 firefighters worked for two and a half hours responding to damage and flooding caused by heavy rain in the last 48 hours.
Firefighters were kept busy overnight dealing with weather related incidents.
Senior station officer Len Sabin says firefighters were called to a Bethlehem rest home suffering moderate damage through several parts of the building caused by a drain pipe blocked with leaves.
“There was quite a lot of damage through a minor cause,” says Len.
“We could literally reach up and unblock the down pipes, and problem solved.
Len says firefighters had a queue of calls and were going from call to call - moving on to the next job.
“They were all weather-related, every single one of them, including a rest home and a couple of commercial buildings, but mainly residential, due to blocked drains.
“For two and a half hours we had seven trucks which is all of our vehicles, and 30 firefighters, including all the volunteers and paid staff from the Mount and Greerton, just going from job to job to job for two and a half hours.”
“What tends to happen is people get a bit of a fright and by the time we get there, they have figured something out, and or the rain started to ease, and things just start draining away,” says Len.
“I guess the cumulative effect of the rain last night and that sudden downpour just overwhelmed a lot of people.
The Port of Tauranga weather station in Pilot Bay recorded rainfall of about 20mm per hour between 7pm and 8pm on Monday.
Len says this is the time of year people should be ensuring their gutters and drains are clear.
“When you get a lot of rain and a lot of wind blows the leaves around, it doesn’t take much to block up the gutters and all of a sudden the water’s got nowhere to go but inside the soffits and down inside the house.
“I think possibly all the wind the night before blowing a lot of leaves around might have had a bit to do with it. A lot of drainage and gutter systems were just overwhelmed.”