Flooding follows rain

The Rangitaiki River broke its banks and flooded the small town of Edgecumbe in the Bay of Plenty. Almost everyone in the town of 1600 people, had to be evacuated from their homes. They were evacuated by boat, tractor or helicopter, taking with them a few personal possessions and their pets.

The continuous rain came down like a deluge, swelling the river to the top of its banks and then over the top. It brought with it trees and debris. It was muddy and fast flowing, about chest high on an adult but not safe for anyone trying to walk through it. Roads became rivers.

People who had to leave their homes were taken to the local hall. It could be several days before they are allowed to return home. Then the task will begin of cleaning out the muddy water from their houses and hoping the sun shines enough to dry everything.

This flooding follows from Cyclone Debbie which hit Queensland, Australia more than a week ago. The heavy rain travelled south to New South Wales then across the Tasman Sea to the west coast of New Zealand and then to the east coast. Dry weather is forecast for much of the country at the weekend.


• evacuated (passive verb)– told to leave their homes and go to a safe place
• deluge (n) – huge sudden flow of water
• to swell (v) – make it bigger
• debris (n) – (French word, the final ‘s’ is silent) – broken things left after a flood or earthquake
• chest high (adj) – the water came up to a person’s chest (also waist high, knee high)
• task (n) – a job to do

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