Aucklanders may have to wait weeks for storm repairs

Aucklanders could be waiting weeks to have broken roofs fixed and fallen trees cleared as the storm clean up continues.

Tree Fellas‘ general manager Ryan Kneebone said most of the emergency work such as trees on houses, through cars or through fences should be dealt with by the end of next week. Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

Jess McVicar, from DS Tree Limited, said they had been flooded with jobs since Tuesday night‘s storm.

She has had to bring in extra crews and cancel all the work they had already booked this week to take on new requests.

Ms McVicar said her partner who has owned the company for 13 years said he had never seen damage like this.

“His phone was just absolute chaos,” she said.

“We‘ve been getting phone calls from 5.30 in the morning to nine o‘clock at night and he says he‘s never had it like this before.”

Ryan Kneebone, the general manager of Tree Fellas, agreed.

“I think that by the end of next week we would have got through most of the emergency stuff [like] trees on houses, trees on cars, trees through fences,” he said.

But he said less immediate jobs could take up to a month before they could be dealt with.

Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

Roofing companies said they had been so overwhelmed, they have had to stop taking new jobs.

Tully Tucky from Auckland Roofing said the company has received more than 100 calls for jobs since the storm.

“I feel sorry for clients who ring [and] we might be the fifth company they‘ve called,” he said.

“We might be the first but we know they‘ll be calling five more, just desperately trying to get someone.

“No one can cope with this level of requests, I know of two other roofing companies at least, that have definitely had the same amount – if not more requests than we‘ve had.”

Mr Tucky said it was going to take at least a week and a half before the company would be able to take on new jobs.

Meanwhile, Vector said 9000 homes were still without power and for those living in rural areas, particularly out West, they could remain in the dark until mid next week.

Chief executive Simon Mackenzie said the damage there had been extensive.

“We have network running through a lot of those areas which goes through bush or trees that are in close proximity,” he said.

“In those areas we‘ve had multiple trees uprooted and limbs from trees come down over the lines and basically rip the network down.”

Mr McKenzie told Checkpoint about 9000 of the 180,000 customers who lost power on Tuesday were still waiting to have services restored.

He said most of those are in the thickly forested areas in West Auckland.

The company hoped most households would have power restored over the weekend but some may have to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday, Mr McKenzie said.

Auckland Emergency Management said it had been delivering water and portaloos to communities in need of them today.

It is also providing accommodation for people who need it and anyone in need of assistance should ring their 0800 2222 00 number.