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Heavy rain, strong winds Evan’s likely Northland legacy


Media release
Date: 21 December, 2012 Update number: 01 issued @ 1145hrs
Number of pages: 02


Heavy rain, strong winds Evan’s likely Northland legacy

Northlanders and visitors to the region are being warned about the possibility of heavy weekend rains and strong winds – the unwanted legacy of Tropical Cyclone Evan which earlier this week cut a swathe of destruction through the Pacific.

MetService forecasters today (subs: 1126am Fri 21 Dec) issued a severe weather watch for Northland, warning the region may receive bursts of very heavy rain as a low that was Cyclone Evan passes by the region on Sunday and Christmas Eve.

They say there’s also a risk of easterly winds reaching severe gale force at times.

Graeme MacDonald, spokesman for the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, says the low is moving south towards New Zealand and expected to lie near Northland late Sunday.

He says officials will be keeping a close eye on the low as it draws nearer. “More detail is expected to be available from the MetService during Saturday when a more accurate prediction should be able to be made.”

With that in mind – and Northland typically host to an influx of visitors at this time of year - both MetService and Civil Defence are urging locals and visitors to follow weather forecasts closely from now on.

They should also plan ahead before travelling around or to Northland on Sunday or Monday; especially those who intend to camp in tents and/or in relatively exposed areas.

“Northlanders are a pretty resilient lot and both they and frequent visitors to our region are familiar with those spots that regularly flood and/or slip during heavy rain events and usually take such things in their stride,” Mr MacDonald says. “However, other tourists planning to spend their holidays here probably won’t have that local knowledge.”

He says the one silver lining is that at this stage it appears the worst of the weather will be fairly short-lived and should have passed by Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, Mr MacDonald says Civil Defence has begun issuing precautionary warnings for farmers with stock in low-lying areas to move them to higher ground and for boaties to make sure their vessels are secure.


ENDS

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