Chopper rescues builders from flooded work site

Three builders were saved from their work site in Piano Flat by helicopter yesterday after the area started flooding. Photo: Russell Jenkins
Three builders were saved from their work site in Piano Flat by helicopter yesterday after the area started flooding. Photo: Russell Jenkins

When Gore builders Gary Ward, Russell Jenkins and painter Dave Webster set out for work in Piano Flat yesterday, they never expected to be flown home in a helicopter.

The three men were working on a house when they became stranded after heavy rain throughout the day caused flooding in the surrounding area.

T.M. Brumby Builder owner Trevor Brumby was contacted by the men at 5pm with their concerns.

"The water was about 900ml, it came right up to one of their legs - a van would've floated if I'd sent it in,'' Mr Brumby said.

He sent his son out to the work site to check on the workers but he soon realised he could not get anywhere near the area.

The Brumby Builders team is happy to be home after being saved from the flooding (from left) builder Gary Ward, painter Dave Webster and builder Russell Jenkins. Photo: Kayla Hodge
The Brumby Builders team is happy to be home after being saved from the flooding (from left) builder Gary Ward, painter Dave Webster and builder Russell Jenkins. Photo: Kayla Hodge

"He was about 4km away from them and then a local farmer couldn't get through either so I told him to get a chopper from High Country Helicopters.''

The three men were retrieved and flown back to Gore by about 7.30pm.

"It's the first time I've ever had to fly anybody home from the job,'' he said.

He had returned to the site at 7.15am today but still could not get through to Piano Flat.

"I could only get to about Freshford, it's still about 800ml deep this morning,'' Mr Brumby said.

 - KAYLA.HODGE@theensign.co.nz

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