Haumoana bach flooded by waves

UNWELCOME INTRUSION: The sea crashes over a wall and on to a house in Haumoana.
UNWELCOME INTRUSION: The sea crashes over a wall and on to a house in Haumoana.

Four-metre-high waves in Hawke's Bay caused spectacular scenes and flooded a bach at Haumoana yesterday.

The bach's owner, John Bridgeman, said the combination of a northeasterly swell and high tide about 9am resulted in waves smashing a glass panel in the door and flooding the bach.

"Water went through it but it's nothing a bit of drying won't fix. We haven't had a good one like that for around 18 months now," he said. "There was a low out there somewhere just enough to give it a tweak. It came up pretty quick all right. It doesn't like that nor'easter."

Mr Bridgeman, who lives a few houses away from the bach – which is rented out – said there was little if any damage to other properties.

Hastings District Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council recently refused a request by coastal residents to fund and support a resource consent application for a proposed groyne field to protect about 40 homes threatened by erosion.

A report by a resource consent specialist last month found that a groyne field costing between $7.7m and $9.9m would have a "reasonably good chance" of gaining resource consent in the Environment Court.

The proposal followed a study by the councils that concluded the options were building 13 groynes at a cost of $18.5m, doing nothing, or managed retreat – which would involve residents and businesses moving out of the area at their own cost as the sea encroached.

A Hastings District Council spokesman said waves had damaged the road to Clifton motor camp, south of Haumoana, and the road was closed to heavy vehicles. Anyone using the road was required to take extreme care.

Yesterday MetService issued a severe weather warning because of large waves expected to hit the North Island's west coast from Waitotara to Otaki. Waves more than 4m were possible tonight, and high waves should continue for the rest of the week.

The Dominion Post