The massive rains and flooding meant Tupou and her āiga had to try to stop the toxic overflow gushing from her toilet and shower drains.
PMN News reports an emotional Tupou says she felt hopeless and the safety of her family was her top priority.
“I felt really inadequate because I didn’t know what to do.
"As a parent, I honestly felt like shit because I didn’t know what to do for my kids so I just said to them, ‘Can you just pack up, you just need to go.’
“I told my nephew to take everyone to my brother’s house and I’ll stay behind because I thought that if anything happened at least it’s me and not them.”
It was Tupou’s nephew that first alerted her that something was wrong and that sewage had started overfilling the toilet.
Soon both toilets in Tupou’s home were spilling out toxic waste.
“The drainage system was backed up and it overfilled the toilet and started spilling on to the floor. Not only did the sewerage come through the toilet but it came through the shower too. Both bathrooms were going for gold.
“We were walking through literal crap in our house and it was disgusting.”
Tupou says switching off the water mains did nothing.
“That was the only part I could film because I had to stop, grab towels and we all chucked them down - that’s all our towels gone. We had to try and at least stop it from spilling over but it just kept filling right up.
“Spilling over into our kitchen, over into our lounge and then finally started coming into the hallway and into our rooms. It was so quick - I think between the span of three to five minutes it started flooding into our fale.”
Drainage pipes outside her home had burst and flooded Tupou's backyard, spilling sewage into her garden.
She says her landlord and property manager were quick to take action once she had told them of the severity of the event, but waited nearly two hours before drain services arrived.
Drain services told Tupou there was nothing they could do until the water receded.
Tupou says she is grateful that her landlord has waived a week’s rent, paid for new towels and also had cleaning services attend to her home before being able to re-enter late last night.
“I feel very privileged to have access to these resources. I also feel guilty because there are people’s livelihoods that have been greatly affected. Worse off than me.”
Tupou says this is the first natural disaster she’s ever had to encounter and is proud of the community for banding together in a time of crisis.
“I swear to all the ones we don’t see, who are actually the unsung heroes. Who actually just got out there and decided to just wade through the water, help people out of their houses. Things like that are probably the most beautiful thing to witness.
“You realise that’s humanity at its best.”