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Caution advised across sodden region

25 March, 2022

Caution is advised across the region despite a relatively quieter night on the weather front.

The city has had around 50mm of rain over the past 24 hours (to 7am), with 31.5mm falling at Waipaoa and 17mm at Te Arai. River levels all remain at a comfortable level.

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence group controller David Wilson is urging people to drive to the conditions. “There is still a lot of surface flooding out there,” he says. “Our contractors have been doing an amazing job but it is tough in these conditions. We are continuing to push into those areas who have been considerably impacted by this latest weather event and support with resources where we can.”

The state of emergency status will be reviewed today (Friday).

A Unimog headed up the Coast yesterday with food and essential medical supplies for those isolated communities. The initiative was a joint effort between Civil Defence, NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency), the New Zealand Defence Force and Te Runanga o Ngāti Porou.

People are being encouraged to check around their properties for anything out of the ordinary and report that to Council through Customer Services (0800 653 800). “The ground is sodden which can cause problems with subsidence, so look for cracks or other signs.”

SH2 between Gisborne and Opotiki opened yesterday evening but Mr Wilson says to keep an eye on the Waka Kotahi Facebook pages for the very latest in information as things can change in the blink of an eye.

SH35 between Gisborne and Tolaga Bay is open while SH38 at Frasertown is closed, as is SH2 between Wairoa and Napier.

SH35 was closed for a period yesterday while debris was removed from beneath the Gladstone Road Bridge.

There is still a heavy rain watch in place for the city and south, which is scheduled to run through until 11pm this evening (Friday). A strong wind watch has also been issued from 3pm today.

Treat all surface water as contaminated and stay out of the water as the scours are still open because of ongoing and heavy rain.

The region received a funding boost yesterday with the announcement from the Minister for Emergency Management the Hon Kiri Allan of $175,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund. Mayor Rehette Stoltz and Mr Wilson both extended a big thanks to Ms Allan.

The money would be put to immediate use for the likes of Tokomaru Bay residents whose septic tanks have been filled with silt.

Mayor Stoltz said the funding will assist with the massive clean-up job ahead for the wider region.

The latest weather event comes on the back of five others in the past year, causing considerable damage and cutting off communities.

Report any damage by using the GDC FIX app on any smartphone, calling us on 0800 653 800, email service@gdc.govt.nz or via the eFix service on Council’s website.