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Damage Along District’s Coastline

19 September 2005

High Seas Bring Damage Along District’s Coastline

Further damage to facilities along New Plymouth District’s coastline could come with another big high tide, which is due tonight (MONDAY).

New Plymouth District Council staff expect the 3.9m tide to cause more problems along the Coastal Walkway, and in several beach areas all along the coast.

“There isn’t much we can do tonight apart from warning people away from the Coastal Walkway in the evening, where they wouldn’t be able to see the big surf coming in until it’s too late,” says Manager Parkscape Chris Connolly.

“We’ll wait until another high tide comes in tomorrow morning, then evaluate the damage and start mopping up.”

This morning large sections of New Plymouth’s Coastal Walkway were closed during high tide as the overtopping waves were dangerous for the public.

In addition, the walkway’s central deck has had some planks removed by the high seas, and debris has closed the walkway beneath the Belt Rd Motorcamp as well as the carpark at the end of Buller St.

At the New Plymouth Aquatic Centre a small section of the external seaside fence was damaged by a large wave-driven log. Temporary repairs have been made, and staff are now waiting to see if the overnight high tide brings any further damage.

Tides rolling up the Huatoki Stream have brought sea water washing over the adjacent section of Puke Ariki Landing, washing away some gardens. “We’re turning the sprinklers on tonight to try to minimise the salt damage to the turf with the clean water,” says Mr Connolly.

Coastal sites have also been damaged by the rough seas, with erosion reported at Oakura, East End, Onaero and Urenui beaches, and debris thrown onto Marine Park in Waitara. The toe of the East End sand dune and some of the access steps have washed away, but Mr Connolly says they will have to wait until the seas calm before all of the coastal damage can be properly assessed.

Onaero Beach Rd was closed for a while today after seas that washed up to the boundary fences of private properties and left to flotsam and jetsam littering the road surface. Manager Roading Assets Max Aves says the road itself was not damaged or undermined by the waves, and council contractors worked to remove the debris this afternoon.

As well as the high tide tonight likely to cause more problems, another storm is due to arrive later this week.

“That storm might also force us to close the Coastal Walkway again for public safety. If that happens we’ll put a notice over the radio, so keep listening for any closure notices when the bad weather hits,” says Mr Connolly.

“In the meantime we ask members of the public to be sensible and stay away from the coastline during the coming storm and at high tide, until this weather pattern settles down.”

ENDS

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