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Civil Defence in state of readiness for rainfall tonight

Wednesday 18 January, 2023

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence remains in a state of readiness as bad weather approaches our region for the second time in nine days.

The MetService has extended the heavy rain warning for our district by three hours until 9am tomorrow morning.

However, it was still a matter of watching to see how much rain arrives and the impact it has.

Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz says our community is aware and prepared for this second weather event tonight.

“I know our community is exhausted and want to see our district being cleaned up as soon as possible.

“Right now, we are still in a response mode, which means our main focus remains the safety and welfare of our residents as this next band of rain approaches. Hopefully, we will be able to transition into recovery mode on Friday and start the massive clean-up.”

Group Controller Ben Green says reports of welfare needs continue to come into Civil Defence headquarters with a multi-agency approach being used to ensure the right help is given.

“The key risks are the state of our saturated land and the fragile roading network. People need to be aware that interruptions to their travel could happen at any time.

“Because of this, we urge people to avoid unnecessary travel this afternoon and tomorrow.”

Waka Kotahi has confirmed SH35 between Uawa and Ruatorea will remain open overnight.

Council’s Principal Scientist Murry Cave says the biggest risk for our region is landslides.

“A rainfall event of say 120mm over a short duration can trigger landslides.

“However, if you get more rain on top of that the threshold for further landslides reduces. This could mean as little as 60mm of rain could generate further landslides.”

The State of Emergency remains and will be reviewed by Civil Defence on Friday morning.

All scours have closed as our wastewater levels return to normal however depending on the volume of rain tonight, they could be reopened.

Keep up to date on local road closures on Council’s website.

For State Highway road conditions check the Waka Kotahi website.

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