Farmer to the rescue in flooded Edgecumbe video

Thousands of people have been evacuated from Edgecumbe.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/FAIRFAX NZ

Thousands of people have been evacuated from Edgecumbe.

With floodwaters well over a metre high in parts of Edgecumbe you need a big rescue vehicle - and Mike van Beck has one.

The farmer is using his JCB tractor to "rescue damsels in distress" from the town.

He has been taking trips back and forth from the emergency centre and will possibly have to continue doing runs all day.

Flooding inundates the streets of Edgecumbe

"The water is pretty high, he said.

READ MORE:
* Live: Edgecumbe evacuated in "500-year event"
* People flee Bay of Plenty township
* In pictures: the evacuation of Edgecumbe

"It's level with the stock truck I'm towing.

The stock truck now carries human cargo with people very grateful for his assistance.

"It's just what you do when people are in trouble, he said.

Edgecumbe is inundated by flooding.
FAIRFAX NZ

Edgecumbe is inundated by flooding.

"The hard part is people don't want to go."

It is not clear how much longer he can make trips as the water level continues to rise.

"It was coming up to the wheels. That's about 5 foot deep.

"An ordinary tractor would not be able to do it but this JCB has a high air intake."

Evacuations continue in Edgecombe.

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