B: That morning, because we had so much rain we had the TV going and we were just keeping an eye on the weather. I went outside, and did some work outside and Ngaire was pottering around in here doing something and I came back in and I saw on the bottom of the screen is said that we have to evacuate Edgecumbe. I took that with a grain of salt really, I didn’t really believe it. And then Ngaire got a phone call from Waikato (hospital) because she’s on home dialysis.
N: We got a phone call from the renal clinic to say you’re being evacuated; you have to get out of Edgecumbe.
B: The fire brigade came down the road and was telling people to get out
N: You’ve got 10 minutes or less, you just have to go.
B: We had a little baby here at that time, by the time we got him in the van it was 10 minutes and it (water) was around Ngaire’s ankles when she got in the van. We couldn’t take anything with us; we walked out literally with what we had.
N: We left everything, I didn’t even have clothes. It was just so fast, it was really quite scary.
B: Where the bank went through, those houses just got bulldozed out of the way, off their foundations. We were lucky because we were on the outskirts of the actual flood so we were pretty lucky. If it had been at night, not everybody would have survived.
N: I pray, to tell the truth, I was praying on the way out that our car didn’t stop.
B: We weren’t sure if we were going to get out. We knew we couldn’t get out over the bridge because that was all blocked off so we had to go to Matata.
N: We lived with my niece and her two children.
B: She was very good; she put us up for 5 months while we did our rebuild.
N: We just didn’t realise what people go through when this sort of thing happens.
B: We have contents and house insurance and vehicle insurance with ANZ. Within the first two days I rang Vero and they were really awesome, they said ‘We will put $5,000 into your account right now.’
N: It helped with all of the little things that we needed. Because you’ll be surprised at when you move out what you’ve moved out without.
B: It just gave us a bit of peace of mind, that’s what it gave us.
N: I wanted to come home and see for myself what had happened.
B: We were quite shocked when we walked in, water came (that high) up the wall. We lost most of our photos, wedding photos, and baby photos. The bottoms of the sofa was all wet, the bottoms of the bed was all wet and muddy. It was all too damaged to keep. It was a huge weight off our minds to know that Vero were on the ball, we were getting all of the help that they could give us that we wanted.
N: They were quick at coming to assess our house.
B: We heard within a week that Vero were happy to pay out on our contents.
N: They were good at ringing to make sure that we were ok, that things were going along happily.
B: They had the dryers in here for 4 to 6 weeks and then started the rebuild. All of the floors came out; all of the walls came out so we only had the shell left.
N: There used to be a wall along here (points) in the kitchen, but we took that out to make the kitchen open plan.
B: We got them to widen our passageway, widen our doorways for future wheelchair access if we need to have wheelchairs. We put a cavity slider in our bathroom, opened our bathroom and toilet up, future proofing it for Ngaire if she needs it.
N: We were really grateful for our insurance, it went a long way.
B: Thanks to ANZ we went to Vero. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know where we would be right now.
N: Yeah because nothing was a problem.
B: It’s been a struggle at times to pay the insurance, but we don’t regret it.
N: You need insurance, everybody needs insurance
B: We have a new home out of that, yeah we do, and it’s wonderful.