No one had let us know’

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Kingston Community Association secretary Margaret Gibson first heard of the flood risk when contacted by local media on Wednesday afternoon. 

“No one had let us know. I’m quite surprised,” Gibson says. 

She contacted Queenstown Lakes District Council for updates and says she couldn’t fault the council’s performance from Wednesday night, with staff visiting daily and in constant contact. 

Council PR boss Meaghan Miller says QLDC delivered 100 sandbags to Kingston Fire Brigade on Wednesday night and were in contact with Kingston’s emergency response rep. 

Gibson and her husband lifted furniture for absent homeowners on Cornwall Street with the help of property management employees. 

Invading water forced resident Nadine Rollinson to evacuate on Wednesday night after her septic tank (left) was pushed above ground by floodwaters and water began creeping into her back room. 

Sandbagging was pointless, Rollinson claims: “It’s seeping up out of the ground. There’s nothing you can do.” 

An Australian couple staying in Rustle Inn transferred to the local hotel before heading home on Friday. 

Kingston residents have a side benefit from the flood – driftwood is being claimed for firewood. “There’s enough to keep Kingston going all winter,” Gibson says.