Flooding opens sinkhole next to Bike Barn New Lynn

  • News
  • March 13, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Flooding opens sinkhole next to Bike Barn New Lynn
Image: David Cunliffe

Auckland copped two separate freak weather events last week which saw parts of the city receive more than a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours, leading to serious flooding. Bruce Wootton, who is the director of New Lynn car accessories and motorized scooter retailer Woottons Auto Accessories, took a break from vacuuming water out of his shop to comment on the situation.

Wootton’s been retailing in the area for 46 years and has never seen anything like the flooding Woottons Auto Accessories experienced over the weekend.

“It was a savage storm, one in a hundred, I reckon,” he says.

“It flooded down at the creek and it just worked its way up and got all the shops on the way.”

Wootton estimates 5ml of water came into the store, and says anything that was stored at floor level got wet. Luckily, Wootton puts the total damage incurred at under $1000, with his most expensive stock items unharmed: “The motor scooters weren’t damaged, they’re made to get wet with rain.”

He’s grateful to the local Bunnings for providing free Rug Doctors to all the neighbouring businesses for their flood-soaked carpets, and that the new roof he had installed last week performed as it ought to. Once Woottons Auto Accessories is dry, he’ll re-open the store without too much fuss.

“We just need a bit of fine weather and a bit of sun and we’ll be dried up.”

A road-sized sinkhole opened next to Bike Barn New Lynn on Sunday. Floodwater poured over its sheer edges and into the hole, where exposed piping and the foundations of the building next to it were revealed. A council spokesperson told the NZ Herald that officials were still waiting for the water level to drop before investigations could be carried out.

Bike Barn national sales manager Victor Gardiner says staff and customer wellbeing and safety is paramount for the company, so it has taken the advice of the council engineers and elected not to operate the store until checks are complete.

Bike Barn is also working with its insurers to assess the damage to the New Lynn store and its stock.

“Not much we can do about the scenario and we just have to sit tight and await further notice, unfortunately for our customers we won’t be trading until further notice but our other locations are trading as normal,” says Gardiner.

Radio NZ has reported that Bunnings Warehouse New Lynn had to be evacuated and was then closed on Sunday due to flooding. Bunnings General Manager, New Zealand, Jacqui Coombes, says the store has today re-opened and is safe:
"We temporarily closed our Bunnings New Lynn warehouse yesterday to ensure the safety of customers and our team, which is always our top priority. The store is now open and the Bunnings team are hosting a sausage sizzle today and tomorrow with all funds raised going to support the Civil Defence flood relief efforts."
"It is our standard practice to have our stores examined by an engineer after any major events such as floods and earthquakes and this was completed yesterday before we reopened our store for safe trading today."

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