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Tales from the floods

subway 2
Subway becomes swimming pool at Petone Station yesterday

Wellington.Scoop
So many stories from yesterday’s heavy weather.

A school party visiting Te Papa learnt that they couldn’t get home. No problem. They spent the night in the museum. Just like those Hollywood movies. (How many sequels?)

The mezzanine floor of the Central Library was also opened for people who couldn’t get home. As was the Loaves and Fishes Hall at the Wellington Cathedral.

There were emergency welfare centres – four on the Kapiti Coast and two in central Wellington. But only two people turned up to use them “Testament,” said the emergency controller, “to the way people have rallied together and looked after themselves and each other.”

Fire alarms at Wellington Girls’ College couldn’t be stopped after lightning hit the main building at lunchtime. As a result, all students were sent home for an unexpected afternoon off.

Driving from Wellington to the Hutt Valley was impossible during the afternoon. Lucky motorists escaped on the Thorndon offramp. Those who weren’t so forwardly-observant were trapped in the jam.

An Upper Hutt woman reported that her husband took two hours and 23 minutes to drive from Wellington to Porirua. She was expecting he would take another two hours before he got home to Upper Hutt. If he got home.

By the end of the day, the Transport Agency was telling commuters they should consider walking or cycling to work on Friday. But many were not waiting to be told.

peds walking after floods

“Heaps of people” were reported to be walking home to Petone along the route where – one day – a real walkway and cycleway will be built.

And then, at the end of the day, when it seemed perhaps that everyone was coping, came the dreadful story of the man whose car was submerged by flooding in a Petone Street. His keys were in the ignition. His body was found nearby.