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Campers asked to pack up with cyclone approaching

Friday 10 February, 2023

Anyone camping along the East Coast is asked to pack up and leave their campsites as swells of up to six metres are predicted from tropical Cyclone Gabrielle.

The latest forecast from the MetService says tropical Cyclone Gabrielle continues to track toward New Zealand and will bring 200mm to 400mm of rain to Tairāwhiti between Sunday and Tuesday.

A weather watch was issued for the region this morning.

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Group Controller Ben Green says these predicted rain levels will bring surface flooding.

“The highest risks in our region are slips and dropouts causing damage to an already fragile roading network and cutting off access to some homes in our community.

“We’re also aware there is still woody debris against bridges up the coast from last month’s ex-tropical Cyclone Hale.

“If you’re in an area prone to flooding, please ensure you have a grab bag if you need to leave in a hurry, we’re also encouraging people to check their properties and clear any blocked drains.

“If you’re in an area where access could be cut off by slips or dropouts on roads, please be prepared with enough food and any medicine you require for three days.

“If you rely on power for medical assistance, or have high dependency medical needs, we advise you to make plans to come to town or be in a place where you will have access to what you need.”

Mr Green says contractors Fulton Hogan are putting out 300 sandbags around the city in spots prone to surface flooding - for example, the shops on the corner of Roebuck and Gladstone Road.

“Contractors are also checking drains for any blockages. We have had calls from the public asking for sandbags, however, these will need to be sourced from hardware stores in town or places like Bay Trade Supplies and Resene.”

Mr Green says there are 13 vulnerable properties in the city and eight up the Coast that are all having pre-weather event checks over the next few days.

From 6pm Sunday the unsealed roading network will also be closed to heavy vehicles.

Seasonal camping areas will be closed if the region gets a red weather warning.

Mr Green says there is good local awareness around this upcoming weather event.

Please keep an eye on Council's website and the Facebook pages for Council and Tairāwhiti Civil Defence for the latest information.

To report anything, contact Council on 0800 653 800, use the GDC FIX app on any smartphone, email or use the eFix service on Council’s website.

From left are the Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management team Mayor Rehette Stoltz, Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Group Controller Ben Green, Emergency Management Advisor Intelligence Kumeroa Papuni-Tuhaka, Council Principal Scientist Dr Murry Cave, Emergency Management Advisor Welfare Dallas Haynes and Emergency Management Advisor Operations Marcus Tibble. Picture by Liam Clayton, Gisborne Herald.

2023 Emergency Management