Ankle-high mud on the floor, furniture all over the street, cars abandoned on the side of the road and a lot of clean-ups to do.
Business owners in Auckland’s North Shore say it will take months to re-open shop after severe weather in Auckland damaged their properties and equipment.
After the heavy rain on Friday, dozens of small businesses on Beach Road, Browns Bay, saw their shops flooded, their equipment written off and thousands of dollars down the drain after waist-high water took over their businesses.
Mathew Coles said he saw his Kitchen Design business under water in a matter of seconds.
The amount of water inside the showroom forced the main gate out, and most of his furniture floated through the street.
“It’s a complete and total loss of everything in our building. The water settled at 1200mm high and surged up to over shoulder height in the building, so it’s completely ruined all equipment.”
He said the damage was so extensive that the business might need the rest of the year to recover.
“When you see the carnage inside and imagine all those cabinets being washed out of the building, the doors are all broken off, I have got no machinery. It could be six or eight months leave time for some of those machines.”
Sharad Awadh owns a mag and tyres shop in the part of the road where water reached more than a meter high and said he has never seen something like it.
“What we we’re trying to do was just put tyres or barricades on the driveway thinking there will be a little bit of rain and we don’t want it coming into the business but literally within 10 minutes the water was at our ankles and another 10 minutes it was waist deep. We were just lost.”
Livi and Jon Kitson-Clark opened their gym at Beach Road only four weeks ago and said the aftermath was a shock.
“We had kitchen cabinets, we had cupboards, wardrobes, car parts, you name it, all floating. Our roller door was smashed in, we have tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of gear which we can’t save or use. We are a bit lost on that aren’t we?”
Down the road, Tony Stant had his family and staff helping to clean up his mechanic engineering shop.
He said the extent of the damage was enough to destroy the business.
“I would say 90 percent of my stuff is gone, it’s all water damaged so what do you do? How long is it going to take to get back on my feet? Who knows.”
Stant said even with insurance, the damage might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“You never have insurance for that end, you have only got insurance for say six inches of water because you never expect it to get that bad.”
Yesterday, National Party leader Christopher Luxon and MP Erica Stanford visited the affected businesses in Browns Bay.
Luxon said insurance companies need to speed up the assessment process.
“We want to be able to help them move forward and the best way to do that is to make sure they can get their insurance assessments quickly.
“If we need for assessors to be here, we need to surge Auckland with more.”
Luxon said more support should be provided for small businesses affected by the weather, so they are able to re-open their doors quicker.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz