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Cyclone Hale hitting East Coast now

Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Heavy rain has arrived on the East Coast with a rain model showing the Hikuwai River could peak at 13.5m at 10pm.

Cyclone Hale has made landfall with gale-force winds, swells up to 6m up the coast and heavy rain.

Low-lying residents near the Hikuwai River in Uawa have been asked to prepare to evacuate, and farmers are encouraged to move their stock to higher ground.

More than 100mm of rain fell overnight in the ranges with Gisborne getting around 40mm. The MetService says the region can expect a further 150mm to 200mm of rain on top of what has already fallen.

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence and Emergency Manager Ben Green says the key messages are to delay travel and keep off the roads if you can.

With more rain still expected on already sodden ground, there could be slips and slumps around the region, he says.

Mr Green says Civil Defence Community Links have been activated in all rural and coastal areas.

Unsealed roads on our roading network will remain closed to heavy freight vehicles until 8pm on Wednesday. This decision will be reviewed tomorrow morning and could be extended further.

Transfer Stations at Matawai, Te Puia, Te Araroa and Tokomaru Bay have been closed until further notice.

Kerbside collection will go ahead today and tomorrow as scheduled however it is advised to hold back your recycling if you can because of high winds.

State Highway 35 will be closed from 7pm tonight between Te Puia Springs and Ruatorea after some roads have slumped.

Contractors are out dealing with sewer manholes bubbling under the pressure in the system. This is caused by a large volume of rainwater in the sewer network coming from properties.

Council 4 Waters Operation Manager Chris Hopman says the emergency valve at the Gladstone Road Bridge has been opened to release the pressure at 8am this morning.

“The Wainui Road pump station is at the highest level we’ve ever seen.

“We ask residents to please avoid unnecessary water use in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry.

“We need to open the valves into waterways to avoid wastewater overflows into people’s homes and through manholes on the street, which can cause health risks.”

If you have any sewer overflows, land cracks or slipping on your property please call us on 0800 653 800 or take photos or videos and send them to us at [email protected].

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.

Below is Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management Manager Ben Green.

CDEM Manager Ben Green