Auckland storm hole bigger than it looks

SUPPLIED/AUCKLAND COUNCIL

Drone footage shows the extent of a sink hole in the New Lynn town centre following Sunday's flash flood.

The hole that opened up in a footpath after torrential rain hit Auckland may be bigger and deeper than first thought.

Tracy Mulholland, chairwoman of the Whau Local Board, said Auckland Council was still discovering the scale of the damage caused by the footpath that caved in after the weekend's Tasman Tempest downpours.

She was given a tour of the site on March 14 and said she "entirely agrees" the scouring was much larger than it seemed in the first photographs from the scene.

Lawrence Smith/ Fairfax NZ

A deluge caused major flooding in the West Auckland suburb of New Lynn on Sunday. Resident James Ellis' home was waterlogged

Mulholland said on Wednesday the water was continuing to recede. 

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General manager of Auckland Council's healthy waters, Craig Mcilroy, said the depth of the hole cannot be assessed without a physical inspection. 

The scouring of the land after a footpath collapsed in New Lynn, Auckland after the Tasman Tempest on March 12.
TRACY MULHOLLAND/SUPPLIED

The scouring of the land after a footpath collapsed in New Lynn, Auckland after the Tasman Tempest on March 12.

At this stage council and Auckland Transport have not given the all-clear for them to enter and manually assess the scouring. 

He said the depth of the scouring "goes down several metres".

A drone had been used once to inspect inside the culvert but the water levels were too high to inspect any further, Mcilroy said.

Major flooding hit Auckland after a huge downpour on March 12.
LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Major flooding hit Auckland after a huge downpour on March 12.

The hole had filled with debris, which would be cleared once it was safe to do so.

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He hoped they may be able to inspect it today.

"We do not anticipate the culvert hole to get bigger," Mcilroy said.

Tracy Mulholland said it was incorrect to call the caved-in footpath a sinkhole.
TRACY MULHOLLAND/SUPPLIED

Tracy Mulholland said it was incorrect to call the caved-in footpath a sinkhole.

Just metres away from the caved-in footpath, the Probett Building had a small crack in it, Mulholland said. 

The Probett Building had been issued with a red sticker by Auckland Council. This meant it was dangerous to enter and access was completely prohibited.

Businesses on the premises included Club Fiafia​ - West Auckland's only nightclub, Happy Japanese Restaurant, Bula Barber and Hair, and Delicious Cake and Pastry Shop.

Across the road from the Probett Building five businesses had been issued with yellow stickers.
LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Across the road from the Probett Building five businesses had been issued with yellow stickers.

Mcilroy asked the public to stay clear for their safety - specifically around the hole. 

Across the road five businesses had yellow stickers on their shop windows, which indicated Auckland Council would only allow restricted access until a second check had been completed.

Debra Clarke from Auckland Locksmith Services said it was "a waiting game" until their insurance company appointed a loss adjustor.

Whau Local Board chairwoman Tracy Mulholland said council was still uncovering the extent of the damage.
SUPPLIED

Whau Local Board chairwoman Tracy Mulholland said council was still uncovering the extent of the damage.

The business had been yellow stickered so she couldn't even start to clean-up.

"If things proceed this week, I will be relieved, as shutting a shop is obviously a big interruption to business."

The council sign on Clarke's shop window said the business had suffered flood and silt damage and there was a possibility of electrical damage. An "electrical certificate" would be required.

Mulholland said it was her priority to meet with businesses in New Lynn and residents of the block of units in Kelston that were evacuated after the floods. 

She said Civil Defence had provided excellent support to the residents with emergency accommodation, food, public transport cards and food vouchers.   

 - Stuff

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