Manawatu floods 2004: Your stories
Memories of pajamas and gumboots
Share your 2004 Manawatu flood story
This (photo above) is what greeted us when we returned to Tangimoana after being evacuated in February 2004. Photo taken by Ross Lomas.
We were living in the country at the time.
It had been a wet night, and the next morning I had to take my husband into town to pick up his work car.
For some reason, and I have to say the only time I had ever done this, I decided to stay in my pyjamas for this five-minute trip to town.
Well, what a shock it was when I went to get home, only to find the roadblock in place and to be told you can not go home because of the flooding.
So here I am with no money, no clothes, no cell phone and a pair of pyjamas.
I was lucky some friends took me in and fed and clothed me until I was able to get home at 6pm that night.
I was working at Sitel and Telecom wouldn't let them arrange a helicopter for us to get to work as they were so short staffed.
Instead I ended up lifting up soggy carpet at my husband's business that got flooded in Feilding, all while I was four months pregnant with my eldest.
I had to go and buy new gumboots for the flood clean up at my in-laws house. I am still wearing them 10 years on.
The stench of freezers full of rotting fish, the flush of appreciation as an army truck roll in with a dozen strong willing bodies to help cart away the debris and ruined belongings, the sorrow and shock written the families faces at the destroyed family photos and memorabilia, are all still lasting memories.
I count our blessings when I see the devastation and read of the huge loss of livelihoods and homes in much bigger floods in other parts of the world. I can only wonder at what might be for Palmerston North in an event that one-day tops our flood banks.
I still note out loud as I pull on my gumboots to mow the lawns "these are the flood boots". Funny thing memories - tied to the oddest things sometimes.
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