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Flood warning alerts to Waipaoa residents

Tuesday 29 March, 2022

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence this morning sent out a cautionary e-text to 318 subscribers as the Waipaoa River levels started rising once again.

The e-text went out at around 6am when the river hit 5.6m at Kanakanaia. It is expected to peak at 6m later this morning and while evacuations are unlikely at this stage, Tairāwhiti Civil Defence group controller David Wilson says people should be on the alert.

“It is sent out as a precaution,” says Mr Wilson. Once the Waipaoa gets above 6m it floods at Puha on SH2.

The Waimata River is also rising and being closely monitored. High tide has already passed but rain is forecast across much of the day.

Waimata Valley Road is closed at the Back Ormond Road intersection with Whatatutu experiencing surface flooding.

Roading teams are out and about checking the roading network, with an update due later in the morning. Mr Wilson urges people to call in damage and concerns to the Council’s Customer Service line on 0800 653 800.

There has been considerable rain overnight with 24-hour figures (to 5.30am) including the Whareratas at 110mm, Waerenga-O-Kuri 35.4mm, the Waipaoa River (at Te Hau Station Rd) 78.2mm, Gisborne Airport 35mm and the Waikaroa trig (near Waimata Valley Road) 105mm.

Rain is forecast to continue to fall across the city this morning with between 3-5mm an hour expected.

People wishing to sign up to receive flood alerts can do so through the Council website.

“While we don’t have any reports of damage so far, the region is saturated, so we are expecting to see some,” says Mr Wilson. “Be careful out there. If you don’t need to be out driving, stay home.”

The road to Tiniroto is still closed to everyone but residents. Civil Defence has been in contact with residents in Tiniroto and Rere, who are affected by the slip, to ensure they are supported. Crews are working to get the road open as soon as possible.

Up the Coast, Makarika School is relocating to Rongoitekai Marae at Ruatorea where education supplies are being delivered today. Civil Defence continues to check with pharmacies in Gisborne each morning for any medications required by Coast whānau for delivery.

  • 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.

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