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Levin Tornado Event 20 May - final update for today - 3.15pm - 21 May 2022

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

After a stormy grey day yesterday, Horowhenua shone today. People in their droves came out to support one another and the comradery shown cemented what locals have known for a long time, that Horowhenua is a beautiful place to live.

While many families are still getting to grips with the damage their properties have suffered, the hum in the community has been one of gratitude. Gratitude that the tornado hit when many were in their homes, and not at a time when kids were on the way to school, and gratitude that friends, families, neighbours and strangers chipped in to do what they could in their time of need.

Building damage

Yesterday the Urban Search and Rescue team carried out Rapid Building Assessments on those buildings impacted by the severe weather event. Council Building Advisors today assessed 11 buildings with a priority on those that suffered the most severe damage. Seven buildings today have been red stickered, deeming them uninhabitable. Of those buildings, two are commercial and five residential. 24 buildings initially classified as having moderate to minor damage will be assessed next week by Council’s Building Advisors. On Monday, efforts will again turn to those building owners and occupiers that have been most severely impacted.

Daniel Haigh - Local Controller says "Those that have been impacted most are our highest priority. If your building has been red stickered, you are prohibited from entering the building as it has been deemed unsafe to do so. If you haven’t done so already, please talk to your insurance assessor. Our Building Advisors will be in touch with you on Monday to talk through the next steps."

"If your building has been red stickered and you do not have insurance, please reach out as support is available to you. Your wellbeing is of the utmost importance and we do not want anyone to feel as if they can’t ask for help," continues Daniel.

Numbers at a glance

11 buildings assessed; seven classified as uninhabitable, 24 to be assessed next week

250+ volunteers some with specialised skills have been deployed to help with clean up

67 emergency 111 calls have been received to date, and 37 welfare calls

Four families went into emergency accommodation last night, with others staying with friends and family

48 Electra customers remain without power in the Levin area as at 1.40pm today

Where to get help and support

If you have been impacted by yesterday’s severe weather event and have immediate welfare needs, please call Council on 06 366 0999.

If you need support or advice, or have feelings of anxiety, stress, prolonged fear, hopelessness or anger, or you just need to talk with someone, you can text or phone 1737 for free to speak to a trained counsellor.

Ministry of Social Development (MSD) support

MSD is available to assist those in the community that have been directly effected by yesterday’s event. Contact 0800 559 009 and let them know you have been impacted by the Tornado.

Mayoral Relief Fund

A Mayoral Relief Fund has been established, with Horowhenua District Council contributing $100,000 and Minister for Emergency Management - Kiritapu Allan confirming yesterday that Central Government would match that contribution. If businesses or individuals would like to contribute, they can donate using the following bank account - 02-0668-0070607-002 (Account name: Horowhenua District Council, ref "Relief fund"). Details on the criteria and process for the Mayoral Relief Fund will be provided as soon as possible.

Response and Recovery update

Council contractors will resume cleaning up debris from kerbsides on Monday. A collection centre at Donnelly Park has been set up to receive green waste and glass over the weekend.

All roads are now open.

Electra is working to restore the pockets of individual properties without power.

Our logistics team continue to distribute supplies as needed.

Council’s Animal Welfare team are continuing to care for two dogs and three cats that have been displaced as a result of yesterday’s severe weather event. Earlier reports of horses being displaced have been clarified, and they were in fact cattle. Unfortunately 85 cockatiels that went missing from an aviary are yet to be located. If your beloved pet is missing please give Council’s Animal Welfare team a call on 06 366 0999.

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