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‘It’s an ongoing problem … I’m tired of all the flooding’

Tuesday 31 May 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in National, Weather

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‘It’s an ongoing problem … I’m tired of all the flooding’
Sam Puati built his house 2.4 metres high to escape from constant flooding blocking his driveway on Tikioki road, Titikaveka. Picture: MELINA ETCHES22053008

The heavy downpour yesterday morning caused severe flooding in Tikioki road, situated northeast of Titikaveka, blocking access to homes.

In 2017, Tikioki resident Sam Puati built his home 2.4 metres high, mindful that flooding in the area would eventually get worse due to more blockages of the “small culvert” which run across the narrow inland road.

“My father had already warned me to build up high, he knew back then that floodwaters in this area would get worse,” said Puati.

“The last time this culvert was cleaned out was two years ago. Nothing has been done since then, so when it rains hard the flooding just keeps getting worse.

“The culvert is way too small and has been blocked for two years … there needs to be bigger culverts installed and the drains cleaned out.

“Two weeks ago, it flooded again right across the road…”

Last year during the torrential rain which flooded low lying areas and stream across Rarotonga, the water reached the two-metre mark. “Thankfully, it didn’t reach inside my house,” he said.

He believes if the culverts and drains are cleaned out two to three times a year, there would be less floods in the area.

“I’m tired of all the flooding and hopefully someone will address this issue,” said Puati.

“It’s an ongoing problem which happens around the island. The flooding is also caused by homes and development on land blocking the flow of the water towards the original streams out to sea,” he added.