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Debris from Hale leaves scars


As the weather improves communities are getting re-connected and the clean-up of our waterways and roads continues.

Gisborne District Council’s Civil Defence and Emergency Manager, Ben Green said there has been significant progress in the last 24 hours but the local state of emergency continues.

“Contractors have been working around the clock to get roads open around the region. We still have families isolated in Tauwhareparae and agencies continue to offer welfare support to these people.

“There are 18 local roads still closed, primarily in the Uawa area. We’re hoping for this number to be down to 11 by Sunday night.”

State Highway 35 is open from 7am – 7pm and while there are no weather issues forecast there are still significant issues on the road. Waka Kotahi warns conditions are slippery with multiple hazards. Drivers need to stick to the temporary speed limits and be aware that contractors have been working long hours all week and will only have skeleton staff on over the weekend.

Please be patient with road workers and other road users.

Ben Green says any further rain is likely to bring more silt and surface flooding, so road conditions can rapidly deteriorate.

“Please drive to the conditions, not the limit.”

Water levels are dropping and Council is closely monitoring them aiming to close the remaining sewer valves as soon as possible. There is still a lot of woody debris in the rivers and nearshore. Please stay out of the waterways and ocean until the signs are removed or five days after the scours are closed.

All cellular networks are now working after Chorus laid 800m of fibre cable yesterday.

Fifty three houses in Tauwhareparae remain without power today and Eastland Network is working to connect them as soon as possible.

General Manager Networks Jarrad Moroney says a significant part of the damage sustained by Eastland Network has been from woody debris.

“Logs being carried by stormwater and falling trees have damaged electricity poles and other infrastructure, disrupting the network. ”

Last night Waka Kotahi removed the majority of the woody debris under Gladstone Road bridge. This was done to protect the bridge and service infrastructure that the bridge carries.

The inner harbour boat ramp, Tolaga Wharf and the Titirangi Hill road remain closed to all users. All sports fields as well as the BMX track and the Fox Street mountain bike park also remain closed until further notice.