NZ Local News

Weather: Man watches rocks fly past as hill slips around his Nelson home

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New streams appeared at Scott Tambisari’s Nelson home as the region coped with a deluge last week. Photo / Supplied.

A Nelson man watched rocks fly past him as landslips crashed around his Grove St property.

Scott Tambisari and his 2 and 4-year-old children were evacuated on Thursday evening as “new streams came up” around his house after days of torrential rain.

Tambisari spent the day clearing drains and culverts to keep water flowing in a bid to save his home from being inundated.

“Thankfully, the neighbour above us got a digger in that morning. Every time there was a slip, debris came down and blocked the culvert. We just kept shovelling stuff out for most of the day.”

Scott Tambisari was evacuated from his Nelson home as rain caused slips and flooding.
Scott Tambisari was evacuated from his Nelson home as rain caused slips and flooding.

While Tambisari was clearing mud, he heard a “crazy rumbling noise, a massive bang” and said rocks were “flying past my head”.

“I was scared, absolutely. When you see rocks rolling down your driveway you think, ‘S***, this isn’t good’.”

His children were dressed in raincoats and gumboots and sent to their grandmother’s house, where Tambisari’s family will stay for the next few days.

“They’re super brave kids. We did the classic ‘make an adventure of it’ for them. We were dodging rocks and streams to the car.”

Tambisari worked through into the night trying to clear mud and debris from drains.

“It was pretty dark, we had torches on and that kind of a thing.

“I couldn’t see anything, we had outside lights on, but all you could see was water.”

Water gushes past Scott Timbisari's Nelson home. Photo / Supplied.
Water gushes past Scott Timbisari’s Nelson home. Photo / Supplied.

He started packing his bags with whatever he could, preparing to flee. Rocks covered the driveway, blocking Tambisari’s car.

“I called Mum, and got my aunty to pick us up and take us to Mum’s.”

“Yeah, so we’re camping at Nana’s for a few nights now.”

He returned on Saturday morning, but the hill behind his house was still unstable. Tambisari packed more into his bags, and “left as quickly as we could”.

Tambirasi helped clear this culvert of debris at night, as high rains hit Nelson. Photo / Supplied.
Tambirasi helped clear this culvert of debris at night, as high rains hit Nelson. Photo / Supplied.

The heavy rain eased Sunday, allowing Tambisari to assess his property.

“We got a call from the neighbour beside us, that his house was red-stickered. But ours is fine. The basement is flooded, and there’s a couple of inches of mud around the yard.”

The Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Group said 570 houses had been impacted by the week’s deluge. Half of those properties had already been assessed.

Nine were red-stickered, meaning they are uninhabitable. Eleven are yellow-stickered, meaning residents can return to them once it is safe.

All properties should be assessed by Urban Search and Rescue by 5pm Monday. They will also undergo a geotechnical assessment, which will be completed by Friday.



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