Young family frustrated over lack of alerts in Edgecumbe flood video

Daniel Lally with partner Sam Kean, who's holding their son Zeth. They're angry about the lack of information after they ...

Daniel Lally with partner Sam Kean, who's holding their son Zeth. They're angry about the lack of information after they were evacuated from their Edgecumbe home.

A young couple with two children have been left with just the clothes on their backs after evacuating their Edgecumbe home. 

Sam Kean, 26, and Daniel Lally, 25, are frustrated with mixed messages coming over social media, having been holed up in a home with no television or radio. 

They're also shocked that there was no proper warning of the rising water levels in Edgecumbe, and were only told to evacuate by friends. 

One of the first images from inside Edgecumbe's flood cordon taken during a media tour on Saturday.

One of the first images from inside Edgecumbe's flood cordon taken during a media tour on Saturday.

Kean was at home in bed on Thursday morning when she got a text telling her to get out. 

SPCA rescues 50 animals from flood-stricken Edgecumbe in one day
* Watch: a kayak across flooded Edgecumbe farmland
Matahina Dam responsible for flooding, say residents
Cut off by flooding, Ruatoki people are survivors 
The eel was a sign, the call was urgent: Get out of Edgecumbe

"There was no alarms, nothing," she said. 


Donations helping displaced families

The pair arrived at the Whakatane war memorial hall for the first time on Saturday afternoon, where the Red Cross is providing support to evacuees. 

A flurry of people were arriving seeking information, and to donate goods, and Red Cross staff were gearing up to do welfare checks. 

Humanitarian services manager Jen Richardson compared the flooding of Edgecumbe and its subsequent aftermath to that of the earthquakes that upset Kaikoura in November last year. 

Two diggers working to repairing the breach in the stop bank that allowed the Rangataiki River to flood Edgecumbe.

Two diggers working to repairing the breach in the stop bank that allowed the Rangataiki River to flood Edgecumbe.

Kean and Lally arrived with their four-year-old son Zeth after learning they could register for help and information. 

Ad Feedback

"We didn't want to ask for help, but we don't even have toothbrushes," Kean said. 

Just down the road at the Whakatane RSA secretary Andrew Thurlow is stunned after collecting an entire room full of donations after asking people to pop food into a small fish bin. 

It will be a long clean up for the people of the town.

It will be a long clean up for the people of the town.

Setting up the bin by the RSA's bar he put out a public call for donations of food.

Very quickly he wound up with a room full of canned food and bedding. 

The donations will be passed to the Salvation Army to organise. 

Back at the Whakatane war memorial hall, Kean and Lally are upset to learn that their friends were allowed to return to their homes overnight to retrieve belongings, while they don't even have shoes. 

"I was in bed, and I was on my phone and I had people texting me saying you need to evacuate," Kean said of their flee from Edgecumbe. 

"There was no alarms, nothing. That was one thing that I'm angry about. There's a fire station right on the corner, their alarm goes off every time there's a crash, why wasn't that going off non stop?

"That's when (Daniel) rung me and said, 'you need to get the f... out now'. I went to go out and the road was already flooded." 

With no petrol in her car Kean made a beeline for the gas station but was told none would be sold to her. 

"I said to my kids, we might have to jump on the roof. By then my phone wasn't working but luckily (Daniel) came home. He's got a four wheel drive." 

Lally, a boat builder, was working in Whakatane at the time. 

"One of my workmates ran up to me at work and said, 'You've gotta go to Edgecumbe'. My mum was screaming 'the banks have burst', so I just jumped into my car and raced straight there.

"The cops were stopping everyone outside of town. They were holding everyone there, talking with every single person and I ended up just buzzing up the side, trying to go and get the missus and the kids. I was freaking out." 

"It all happened so fast," Kean added. "You get the text to go and five minutes later half the town is already out." 

The couple described the town as being in "chaos". 

With no word from officials Kean said she didn't think the situation was too serious, and grabbed few items for their two children including a toy each, and some food. 

The young couple have just the clothes on their backs, not even a pair of shoes. 

"We've got $50 for petrol for our cars. We've no toothbrushes. No underwear. No clothes. So that's why we're coming here," Kean said, gesturing toward the Red Cross hub. 

The couple is keen to get back into their home while the sun is shining. 

They have two cats locked inside and being a single income family, they don't have the funds to buy much in the way of new clothes. 

"We've been pretty sweet until it kicked in that we're not allowed home for 10 days. Our chest freezer is full of meat. Can we at least go home and donate it? It's going to get ruined. We can't even do that. So we've got nothing," Kean said. 

"We've got no television where we are. No radio. So, I'm just going off what I find on Facebook and probably what some stuff they're saying is not even true.

"Some people were saying yesterday we could go home to get some stuff and today we heard the mayor said up to 10 days or something. So we don't know what's going on." 

The couple were two of 1600 evacuees who have been told it could be as long as 10 days before being allowed back into the small town. 

Edgecumbe is subject to a manned cordon and only restricted people have access, including emergency staff searching for animals. 

 - Stuff


Ad Feedback
special offers

'Give my $1270 back'

Megan Knight was "thrilled" by a snapshot artist Benjamin Lloyd sent of her $1200 canvas featuring rappers 50 Cent, ...

Art enthusiast says her brush with a philanthropic artist paints him in a new light.

Storm: What you need to know

The Selwyn River in flood on Saturday morning.

Flooding has hit many parts of the country, with towns cut off and states of emergencies declared.

Northland crash kills one

Emergency services were called just after 3.30am to the accident south of Whangarei.

One person has died in an accident early on Saturday morning south of Whangarei.

How do you stop begging? video

Marcus Pohio is homeless and regularly begs on Courtenay Place, in Wellington.

The only thing that will get Marcus Pohio off the street is death. But is public generosity speeding that up?


'Grumpy' Canes get job done video

Hurricanes second five-eighth Ngani Laumape takes the ball into contact.

Hurricanes advance to the semis despite a third consecutive "sloppy, loose and ill-disciplined" effort.

How to stop begging? video

Marcus Pohio is homeless and regularly begs on Courtenay Place, in Wellington.

The only thing that will get Marcus Pohio off the street is death. But is public generosity speeding that up?

Wellington loses Si and Gary show

Wellingtonians won't hear Si & Gary on their breakfast show anymore.

But they'll get something more local in return - Polly and Grant.

Strong winds for Wellington

Police officers help a driver caught in floodwaters near Timaru on Friday. Wellington has largely missed the weather hit ...

Wellington has missed the worst weather, but there's still been slips and heavy rain.


Probing the Bain murders

Martin van Beynen, veteran print journo and now a podcaster, has been following the Bain case for 20 years.

Investigation culminates in major new true crime podcast about controversial murders.

Live: Southern deluge 

Flooding in Ashburton saw cars getting stuck on Thompsons Track.

State of emergencies declared in several areas as flood waters force scores of evacuations.

Police evacuate Dunedin residents video

Police said the slip damaged several cars.

Residents evacuated from Ravenswood St in the Dunedin suburb of St Clair after slip.

State of emergency in south Otago

The floodprone Clutha River at Balclutha.

No access to the town of Milton and evacuations in Waitahuna and Lawrence.


Quad bike safety an attitude thing

Trauma data reveals a huge peak in quad bike injuries among the 55-to-65 age group.

Wintec students look to solve the problem of quad bike accidents.

Carjacking reported

No one has been arrested and a gun has yet to be found in the Frankton car theft.

Police are investigating a report that a car was taken at gunpoint on Friday night.

Arrest in cop attack

The officer remains in hospital in a stable condition.

A 24-year-old man has been arrested and is due to appear in court on a charge of attempted murder.

Motorcyclist critical after crash

The crash occurred at the corner of the intersection of the Thermal Explorer Highway and Anzac St East in Horotiu.

Man taken to hospital following a serious crash in the Waikato.


Skills for a healthy future

Carol Wham PhD NZRD
Associate Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, Massey

Does your intermediate child know how to cook a basic, healthy meal? And why does it matter.

'Enjoy Taranaki': judge

When Troy Gilchrist asked what he could do until his sentence started, Judge Chris Sygrove told him he could relax, or ...

A judge tells window-smasher to "enjoy the wonders of Taranaki" before his sentence starts.

Truck blocks highway

The trailer of a large truck has rolled and was blocking half of SH3 near Waitotara in Taranaki on Friday.

One lane was blocked on SH3 near Waitotara after a truck crash on Friday morning.

Pre-nup was unfair

The High Court has upheld a lower court decision for a couple to equal property shares after separating

A pre-nuptial agreement gave one partner $20,000, and the other partner $1.5 million worth of assets.


Bridal gowns from the ages

Aimee Perrett models Miranda Polson's 1976 wedding dress.

Some of the region's finest bridal gowns of the last century were in a unique display.

Gang-life redemption

Te Kai Po Ahuriri, captain of the Stormtroopers Outlaw chapter, spars at The Fight Shop gym.

Two gang members with separate lives talk about their similar roads to recovery.

Paediatrician jailed

Jonathan Walsh is in jail after pleading guilty to 17 charges relating to the making and distributing of indecent images ...

Paediatrician who worked in New Zealand jailed in the UK over indecent images of children.

No way in, no way out video

The trail's reconstruction has made life much easier for villagers.

After the 2015 quake, villagers in Uhiya, Nepal, were isolated, forced to fend for themselves.


Finding a voice after throat cancer video

Bernard Sanders, left and Stephen Christie with Emma Burns, Speech and Language Therapist at Nelson  Marlborough Health. ...

Two throat cancer survivors aren't letting their loss of voice stop them from speaking out about the importance of HPV vaccinations.

Trespass case win

Lawyer John Fitchett has won a trespass case against Nelson College.

Lawyer wins case against being trespassed from Nelson College board meetings, but judge unimpressed.

Nelson in the eye of the storm

While the rest of the South Island was battered by the weather, Nelson and Tasman escaped the worst of it.

The Nelson Tasman region is sheltered from weather "similar to a cyclone".

The making of Jack Bauer video

A shattered Jack Bauer reacts after the finish as he was caught by the peloton just metres short of a famous stage ...

Tracing the career of Tour de France cyclist Jack Bauer back to where it all started - Golden Bay.


All hands on deck

John's Kitchen supervisor Richard McDonald likes the idea that food can be an expression of care.

Blenheim charity kitchen takes on new staff to cope with high workload.

Team turned around

The MBC Falcons rugby team had a frustrating day on Friday.

MBC First XV rugby team spent around 14 hours in a bus yesterday, then never even got to pull their boots on.

The next big quake

The Adelphi Hotel, in Kaikoura, was pulled down due to earthquake damage.

It's impossible to say when an earthquake is going to strike. But the predictable patterns of aftershocks can help.

Exploring Africa

The Hansby family at Victoria Falls, from left, Luke Hansby, Fleur Hansby, Nick Hansby and Sam Hansby.

When you plan your trip to Africa, the animals and environment are expected to be the main attraction.

South Canterbury

More rain expected video

Gus, left, and Tom Cameron check out the damage to Stanton Rd, at Kimbell near Fairlie, after it was washed out overnight.

NZ Defence Force sends teams to worst hit parts of South Canterbury to check on residents.

Army called in gallery video

BP on Evans St, Timaru, has flooded.

Timaru and Oamaru are in a state of emergency as rain continues to fall.

Heavy rains, flooding in photos

Christchurch's Heathcote River was in flood on Saturday morning.

Roads have turned into rivers as a huge winter storm moves down the South Island. 

Downpours strike  video

Water rushes under the Leith Footbridge, in Dunedin, about 11pm on Friday.

Storm sweeps south as Timaru placed under state of emergency.


Stewart Island heritage gets $1m

An artist's impression of the Rakiura Heritage Centre. The centre has received, over $1 million in Government funding to ...

The Government is to commit $1.08m to the Rakiura Heritage Centre Trust.

Post-funeral brawl

Police and ambulance were alerted to the incident, but were not eventually required.

A post-funeral gathering in Bluff on Thursday night ended with blood, broken glass and a visit from the police.

Irrigation scheme 'a win-win'

Dairy Creek Ltd director Tim O'Sullivan, Pioneer Energy chief executive Fraser Jonker and Pioneer Energy project manager ...

A $10m irrigation scheme near Alexandra, Central Otago, is going to deliver water to about 1800 hectares of barren land.

Gecko stolen from visitor centre

The Marlborough green gecko that was stolen from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau.

An at risk gecko has been stolen from the DoC visitor centre in Fiordland.

Ad Feedback