THE first homeowners displaced by floods in Edgecumbe could be back in their houses mid-June.
Several homes in the town are insured with FMG and its chief operations officer, Conrad Wilkshire, said: “We’re pleased with how our recovery programme is tracking for clients and are very close to having our first client return to their home after it was left uninhabitable following the storms.
“There’s been a stack of hard work gone from the team at FMG and our suppliers, but we are very mindful we are not done yet.”
Mr Wilkshire said Sabre Construction was involved in much of the rebuild for FMG clients in Edgecumbe.
“One of the core reasons we’re in a position to have some clients return to their home this month is from the efforts of Sabre Construction,” he said.
“We can’t speak highly enough of their speed, their professionalism and willingness to want to do the right thing and help people in their time of need.
“Within weeks, Sabre had already stripped out 20 houses to begin the drying process and were ready to start re-lining properties shortly after. They were also quick to lock in the supply of crucial building resources, meaning they were ready to go once the property had been sufficiently repaired.”
Owner of Sabre Construction, John Holwerda, said he had 30 to 40 people, including contractors, working on about 40-plus houses and they expected the first house to be “tentatively” ready by June 16.
They had already begun painting some houses that had to be completely gutted.
He said the people in Edgecumbe had been “amazing”.
“There is a good community spirit … neighbours are helping neighbours.”
Mr Holwerda said it was hard to convey how traumatic the flood had been for residents – even just one metre of water could destroy a whole home’s contents.
Project managers for Sabre Construction, Henry McDougall and Simon Hunt, showed the Beacon two houses they were repairing.
The first, at 5 Edgecumbe Soldiers Road, was one of five houses they were working on that had a concrete floor, said Mr McDougall.
He said repairs had moved faster on this house because they did not have to replace the floor. The walls and ceilings had been replaced with new Gib and the floor had been dried out by ChemDry Whakatane.
Mr McDougal said the home was owned by an elderly lady and it would be good to get her back into her house soon.
At 6 Matipo Place they were working on a house that was “typical” of many Edgecumbe homes, with its timber flooring and no insulation.
The floor had to be completely replaced and the new floor fitted under the framing. Mr Hunt said he expected this house to be ready in about four weeks.
Good news for the homeowner would be the installation of insulation free of charge.
Mr McDougal said Liveable Homes, with funding from the Energy Trust, was able to provide insulation for flooded homes that previously did not have insulation. Those homes would not be covered for insulation under their insurance policy, he explained.