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Extent of flood damage still unknown

21 June 2021

The full extent of the damage caused by the weekend’s heavy rains will be made clear in the coming week.

The Tairāwhiti Civil Defence team was brought together early yesterday as rivers reached capacity and surface flooding threatened houses and businesses along the East Coast. Four homes were flooded and families were forced to self-evacuate, however no other evacuations were necessary.

Mayor Rehette Stoltz says the clean-up is well underway but it will take some time to understand how much damage there is across the region.

“With rain still expected, we’ll keep a close eye on the situation and then we’ll be able to understand the full picture. Until then we ask for people to keep safe, look out for each other and take care on our roads,” she said.

Up to 200mm of rain was recorded north of Ruatoria. Tokomaru Bay was one of the worst affected areas with severe flooding in some areas.

State Highway 35 has now been reopened north and south of Tokomaru Bay, but caution is advised when driving on all roads.  Contractors are working to clear the highway south of Lottin Point Road, which has now been reopened to one lane.

A number of rural roads are closed or accessible by 4x4 vehicles only and slips and washouts continue to be reported by the public.

The public is advised to call 0800 653 800 for any roading issues.

For updates on rural road closures see https://www.gdc.govt.nz/services/roads-and-roadsides/road-information

For state highways, see https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/?layers=road-closures