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THE FLOODS.

ESTIMATED DAMAGE

£40,000 REQUIRED FOR NAPIER SECTION. As the waters fall the tremendous damage done in all directions stares one in the face. Drowned stock are in almost every paddock invaded by the floods, and thousands of acres of pasturage have been rendered unfit for use for many months to come. If anything, the damage has been underestimated and Hawke's Bay's loss will run over £250,000. It is said that quite £IO,OOO will be required on the railway line before traffic can be resumed to Napier. Several thousands will need to be expended on river embankments and the reconstruction of bridges and culverts will sorely tax the authorities. A drive round to Clive reveals a heart-rending sight, families returning to their homes, settlers attempting to muster the few head of stock remaining and disposing of the hundreds of dead animals, and the whole sight being depressing in the extreme. Hastings is comparatively clear today, though in some of tAe low-lying parts it will be some days before the houses are tenantable. The mail-coach from Maraekakaho get through without, any difficulty whatever. Mr J. Rigger reports that the squatters are clearing up after the floods, and that the loss out that way will be greater than was at first anticipated. Things are settling into their old groove at Omahu. The Maoris there say they never experienced such a calamity before. There is urgent necessity for bridge work in all directions without delay. The police have received no information as to the finding of any of the bodies of those drowned in the Napier rescue party. Complaints have been made as to condition of the ferry boats at the Waitangi crossing, and as they are likely to be engaged in the work for some weeks it would be advisable to provide larger boats. J. Macdonald, who was reported drowned at Papakura is safe. A man named Double is reported 'missing from Omahu. It is said that three men have been drowned at Ohiti.

DAMAGE ON THE RAILWAY

The Railway Department were in a position yesterday to keep everything strictly to time, and during the whole day there was not a train more than ten minutes late to the improvised time-tables. Owing to the Manawatu train being late yesterday's express did not get away from Palmerston until 45 minutes after regulation time. By the time it reached Kaikora it had made up 25 minutes of time lost. Messrs .J. H. Low (Chief Engineer of Railways) and J. W. Richmond (engineer for the district) are at present in Hastings directing operations. It is expected that the Whakatu bridge will be crossed this afternoon, and repairs to the washout between there and Farndon will be proceeded with immediately. There is a probability of the engine getting through as far as Farndon this evening. It was found inadvisable to deal at once with the Te Aute overflow, as it was thought that a cutting might produce a scour which would prove disastrous to the settlers in the valley. The flood waters will be allowed to subside before operations are commenced.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

The Hon. W. Hall-Jones, Minister for Public Works, reached Woodville at 0.-lu this morning, going on to Dannevirke by a special. Leaving there at 6.30 he arrived at Kaikora at 10, and immediately afterwards left for Hastings. Forty-one passengers by the southern express arrived at Kaikora last evening, but coach accommodation could only be found for 31, 10 being compelled to remain there all night. Four crowded brakes left for Napier this morning. A wire from Kaikora states that 20 through passengers could not bo accommodated by the special conveyances from there this morning. Ballast trains are working between Whakatu and Paki Paki. The repairs to the Waipawa bridge will be completed to-day, and arrangements have been made for all trains to run through to Kaikora instead of being transferred. Wellington passingers will consequently reach Kaikora at 4 this afternoon, and they will reach Hastings earlier than last night. The water is still ijin. over the rails on the Te Auto grade. The Napier staiionmastet wired from Farndon this morning that arm merits at the Waitangi and wa.-hi.iut ferries were progressing witisfactortlj, but that somt- dir < iu:» u i- U ing experienced in set: nir th< .u.r the wa.-hout ferry at low tide owing to the- shoaling. The Hon ■?. I>. Ormoud (chairman of the Harbor Board) and Mr J. N*. Williams (chairman of the County Council t are at present in Hastings, probably »» business in connection w.:h th- il.hj.l--,i:i l> r-tand arr in,'- .ms are b-.ng L' n. J !:.ad.- L> th-j (.o irr.y i".■ :ucl i > put ,i punt i r n the n\• r for krrymn perpn~es. The -auhU>iy arv ab>jut to aiak- a road roan I the washout at Wa.iu.figt, so that dray traffic can 'be resumed between Haslu>o'9 aad >*apier. 4

PUBLIC MEETING AT HASTINGS

At the invitation of the Mayor, a public meeting was held in the Bo'rough Council Chambers this morning, for the purpose of considering ways and means of alleviating cases of distress caused by the flood. Amongst those present were:— Mesdames Russell, Fitzßoy, Galway, Miss Fitzßoy, Captain Russell, Messrs Hughes, E. H. Williams, Beilby, Tosswill, McLeod, Murdoch, Smith, Ellis, Charlton, Bennett, Cullen, A. L. D. Fraser, Scannell, Dr Linnev, and Rev. J. Hobbs. " The Mayor explained that t href was a preliminary meeting called for the purpose of relieving the immediate wants of the local sufferers by the recent flood ; but they would, of course, afterwards act in conjunction with the geueral committee which would be formed for relief throughout the province. The Government should be approached at once with reference to erecting protective works in order to prevent a repetition of the disaster. This was represented to the Government before, but, as usual, the Government waited until a disaster occurred before anything was done. The principal losses through the town consisted of cattle, pigs, poultry, Ac., and he suggested forming a committee at once to go round amongst the people and report on the losses sustained. He then read a telegram from Mr Swan, Mayor of Napier, asking for assistance for sufferers by the flood throughout Hawke's Bay. Mr Hunt thought that the tradespeople of the town were not represented at the meeting. Very few people knew of the meeting. If the meeting were called later there would be more tradespeople present. The Mayor called the meeting thus early as he thought in a case of this sort immediate action should be taken. There was an advertisement in the local paper announcing the meeting and the editor generously devoted a leader to the subject. Mr Murdoch thought there was a great deal in what Mr Hunt said, but thought it better to go on with the meeting. It was open to hold another meeting at a future date. Mr Ellis moved an adjournment of the meeting until 7 p.m., when a larger attendance would be ensured, and fuller information could be laid before the meeting. Dr. Linney thought this meeting shomd be proceeded with, and a subscription list opened at once. If necessary another meeting could be called later. Mr McLeod said those present were representative enough to appoint a committee for the purpose of investigating the local poverty. Mr Hunt was of opinion that there were really no urgent cases in Hastings, and if committees were hastily formed they would bo liable to be imposed upon by exaggerated reports. It was necessary to have committees formed from men who understood the situation. He brought one gentleman along this morning who was acquainted with the losses throughout the town, but who was not aware that a meeting was to be held this morning. Rev Mr Hobbs thought the first thing required was delinite information. Committees should be appointed to canvass the town and report. The people of Clive were in a pitiable condition, and the committees appointed by this meeting should be empowered to include that township in their operations. This meeting should not be adjourned. Mr Galway said Mr Swan's telegram was delinite enough as regards the distress. The pressing local needs should be met at once by subscription, the balance to go into the general relief fund. Mr Beilby, referring to the Rev. J. Ilobbs' remarks, said it was impossible to deal with Clive now. This meeting was intended to give local aid for the urgent necessities, but Clivo would be dealt with in the general relief which they would join issue with. The relief fund would probably become a National question. Mr Ellis still thought a meeting called at a later hour would be more effective. Mr Tickner suggested that on account of the state of the roads a meeting called at 7 p.m. would not be well attended. Captain Russell thought the result of the local subscriptions should not be confined to Hastings, but go into a general fund. This, of course, need not interfere with relieving the urgent necessities in Hastings. Mr E. II Williams said that was what was proposed. The Mayor explained that it was desirable to open a fund from which the principal local distress would be relieved, the balance to go the general fund. The Rev. Mr Ilobbs a .rain asserted' the claims of Clive on the local charity, but The Mayor thought ('live should be considered in the same category as Meatn-e. Papakura, Ac., and be dealt with in the general fund. The following committ-f was appointed to canvass the di-irirt with a view of ascertaining the > > in need of urgent rtli* f ~Ttn.- M«i)<r and Captasn and Mrs Russell, Dp" and Mr- Mr and Mrs Beilby, 1 ■ ai.d Mrs Hobbs, Mr and Mr- ■!. S. Wsin uu-, Mr and Mrs Galway, and M> - -r-. Mel>«-«>d. < "h»rl ton, and Cash ion. On thf motion of D~ Linn«-v it wits d-<"id-.d gi'.t' J-Otti-r?*' thi: appointed at the meeting to ileal with th» urgent ca-» s a", one l . Dr Linney tii--h(>::!d Us a !.' <1 at onet. Mr Hunt said hj- r> ii irk- > {-oatth'- w'-> ti'.g «■. r- «,S. r«-d :n ;h- b»_-t q ;r,t an i m furiturane- of th'.-1 uu-v. in thf - -nt following a -.Liter id *.hi- n,i'.ur»- until fiaggt-ra-ti'jii- wt-rt '.'ftf.-ii £;:;nU* ar. J a rt -iilt *.he fun It wer.- often direett-d in an • timaU' channel. TVn- *»r» only five tradedwen present at this meeting, i£d to Itejr wm* act iiDfurtaM eta.

he thought the mooting should he postponed. As, however, the feeling of the meeting was in favor of proceeding he proposed that another meeting be called for Thursday next, at 7.30 p.m. Captain Russell seconded the resolution, which was carried. Mr Murdoch said the Minister for Public Works, the Hon Hall-Jones, was coming to the district. Was Captain Russell in a position to verify this? Captain Bussell said he was not; but if he did come he would explain the situation to him. For the protection of the railways the Government d arrange for protective works at Roys iJill, but pressure should be brought on the Government to employ local labor on the repairs of bridges, railways, &c. The Government would, of course, contribute to the general relief fund, but should also contribute money for the repairs of bridges, which he estimated would cost about £20,000. The Minister should be approached by a deputation to make representations to this effect. The Mayor and Captain Russell were appointed a deputation to wait on the Minister. Captain Russell proposed that in reply to the Mayor of Napier the following reply be sent : —That having heard Mr Swan's appeal we wo.ild do everything in their power to assist in the good cause." —Carried. The meeting then adjourned.

AN APPEAL FOR RELIEF

The following message has been despatched by the Mayor of Napier to the Mayors of all the principal boroughs of the colony : " You immediate assistance is most earnestly solicited to enable us in some measure to cope with the effects of the most disastrous flood which has ever visited Hawke's Bay. Hundreds of families have been rendered homeless by the destruction of their houses, same of which were bodily swept away, and the loss of property in cattle and all kinds of stock, besides miles of fencing and the ruin of their crops, has left them practically destitute ai:d the country desolate. The loss of life, too, I regret to say, has been large. Twelve person., "have, it is now known, been drowned, and as most of them have left widows and children entirely without support funds are urgently required to meet their most pressing necessities. Ten of these men nobly lost their lives in endeavoring to rescue their fellow settlers by means of boats, which have, there is no doubt, been swept out to sea by the current. The loss altogether cannot be estimated at less than £BO,OOO to £IOO,OOO. Under these most distressing circumstances I feel compelled to appeal to the well-known generosity of my fellowcolonists and ask them to give us their kindly co-operation in whatever steps may be taken to alleviate the misery and devastation which have befallen as.—G. H. Swan, Mayor of Napier."

THE RELIEF FUND

Mr R. D. D. McLean, M.H.R., has given a handsome donation of £IOO to the Relief Fund. The Palmerston and Feilding bowlers, in Napier, have subscribed £2lss to the Relief Fund. Kirkcaldie and Staines have donated £IOO. .

THE GALE ELSEWHERE.

News reached town to day that seven 60ft. spans and one 120 ft. span of the Rangitikei cylinder railway bridge have been carried away. Passengers were being conveyed across the river in a cage on a w ire rope. It will take quite three months to repair the Aorangi bridge at Feilding has also been destroyed. The Palmerston-Wanganni line is now practically useless, and there will be no traffic in the meantime. A Feilding telegram states that the flood was the heavest ever experienced in the Orona river, resulting in bridges on the Feilding-Ashurst-road and railway and road bridges at Aorangi suffering serious damage. Two of the latter have each lost two spans, besides the approach on the Feilding side of the river, leaving gaps of about two chains. At the former the river left the bridge high and dry, washing away about live chains of the road on the Feilding side, where the main now is. Reports of damage continue to come in from various localities. Opposite Birmingham. 1!) miles north of Feilding, Mr (i. Dell's residence was Mashed away, also Mr J. A. Bailey's. The damage will amount to several thousand pounds.

TIIE PRESS SPEAKS.

The Now Zealand Times, writing yesterday, says : —lt will bo almost impossible to cope with the terrible misfortune that has fallen upon the neighboring province, but every effort must be made, by means of a national appeal, to succour those upon whom Ibis blow has fallen with such appalling suddenness. Words fail us in which to ade<]iately express the feeling of sorrow which this calamity occasions ; but we do urge upon our felkuvcitizens, upon everyone in the colony, to come to the assistance of those who are bereft of husband, of children, of home, of everything that made life their r-akt s, and for the the families who are ruined in fortune almost beyond hope of ndtmp lion. we plead with all the earn - "t which the knowledge of the i.r ui stances gives to us. The miuieiury help can never make up to those who have Ken suddenly bereft of their loved oih-s : but the sympathy, the help, the of prompt and gen< r<-i- assistance may do a great deal towards binding up the broken hearts and saving from despair tho« who. at ibi« moment. have not j... sentel to their suffering souls 1 sinjr.t ray of bop*;."

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

THE FLOODS., Hastings Standard, Issue 301, 20 April 1897

Word Count
2,636

THE FLOODS. Hastings Standard, Issue 301, 20 April 1897

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