Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Storm-weary Northlanders hunker down for third night

Media release

Date: 10 July, 2014

Release #: 2; issued at 1630 hours

Storm-weary Northlanders hunker down for third night

Storm-weary Northlanders are preparing to hunker down for a third night – many of them still without power – as the effects of ongoing bad weather, including renewed flooding, start to bite.

Civil Defence officials say while today’s rain and wind has not been especially severe by itself, its effects are being compounded by the events that have preceded it, including infrastructural damage from high winds and the large amount of water already around the region.

Claire Nyberg, spokesperson for the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group says electricity companies have worked incredibly hard and have restored power to thousands of people since the storm first struck.

However, as of about 3pm today Far North power company Top Energy was warning it expected roughly 5000 customers – many of whom had been without power for three days – may face several more days before they can be reconnected.

Affected areas included roughly 1300 in Pukenui township, but also clusters of 200 or so in smaller areas including settlements like Awanui, Mitimiti, Kohukohu, Peria and others. In other spots around the Far North individual customers were also being affected.

Officials say while there have been no requests for assistance with food or water at this stage, obviously this will be a concern that will need to be addressed given the likely prolonged nature of some outages and the fact rain and wind is forecast to continue into the weekend. Addressing this will potentially be a key task going forward and people with any welfare concerns should contact their local district council in the first instance for advice.

Meanwhile, as of 3.25pm electricity company Northpower, which supplies those in the Whangarei and Kaipara districts, reported power has been restored to 650 of its customers, leaving less than 1000 now without power. A company spokesman repeated an earlier plea for locals to stay clear of downed power lines and treat them as live at all times.

Roading officials report a number of closures/reduced lanes around the region and as high tide draws near about 5pm on the east coast are warning of more likely closures and potential flooding in places like Kaeo, Kawakawa and Moerewa.

Ms Nyberg says information about any ongoing local district council road and State Highway closures/issues in Northland is available from the Automobile Association website via www.AAroadwatch.co.nz or the NZTA website www.nzta.govt.nz Those sites contain maps and brief description of closed/affected roads and an indication of when the issue/s involved is likely to be resolved.

However, despite the best efforts of all concerned, Ms Nyberg says the length and changeable nature of the weather event is making it difficult to accurately capture in real-time exactly which Northland roads and highways are open or affected.

Ms Nyberg says on that basis, officials are continuing to urge people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

She says on the telecommunications, sewage treatment and drinking water fronts, an ongoing lack of electricity is continuing to cause potential problems.

The Northland District Health today issued a general region-wide advisory warning people to stay out of waterways, floodwaters and harbours to avoid contact with contaminated water.

Warnings have been directed not just at those who could be exposed to water contaminated with sewage and other nasties when carrying out clean up and repair work from storm damage, but also at shellfish gatherers, swimmers, and others who could be exposed to risks in coming days, and in some cases, weeks.

In a similar vein, people who have been without power for extended periods are being warned not to refreeze frozen goods that have thawed due to the health risks involved.

Meanwhile, Ms Nyberg says for the second time in just weeks, parts of Northland have now received the equivalent of more than an entire month’s rainfall in only a day or two.

Northland Regional Council figures show that between 8am on Tuesday and noon today, a total of 254mm of rain had fallen at Puhipuhi, north of Whangarei, more than the 234mm that would usually fall there for the entire month of July.

Over the same period between 8am Tuesday and noon today, 250mm had fallen on the Glenbervie Forest (July monthly average 190mm) , 240mm at Kaikohe (July monthly average 172mm) and 224.5mm at Otiria (July monthly average 158mm).

Between 8am Tuesday and noon today 190.5mm had fallen at Kaeo, 182.6mm at the Northland Regional Council’s Whangarei offices, 175.5mm on the Hikurangi Swamp, 164.5mm on Kaipara’s Tutamoe Ranges, 162mm at Kerikeri, 129.5mm at Ngunguru, 63.5mm at Maungaturoto, 57.6mm at Dargaville and 48.5mm at Larmer Rd in the southern Kaitaia area.

She says officials are currently on a heightened alert and will be closely monitoring the situation overnight.

Information will continue to be posted as required, including on the Northland CDEM Group’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/civildefencenorthland and the Northland Regional Council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz/civildefence

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mana Māori: Kawenata Unites Kaupapa Māori Parties

The Māori Party and Mana Party have signed a historic agreement today to unite Māori politically.

Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan said the kawenata or agreement was a huge step forward for Māori in the lead up to the general elections.

"Today is an important day for the Māori nation because today is when the country's only two kaupapa Māori political parties unite to work tactically together in the best interests of our people," says Mr Morgan. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Welfare: WINZ Breaching Privacy Laws With WINZ Vetting Rules

E tū, the union for security guards, says WINZ may be breaching privacy laws with its new screening process for people visiting WINZ offices. The vetting requires WINZ security guards to check photo ID and whether visitors to WINZ offices have an appointment.More>>

ALSO:

Turnbull Visit: Leaders’ Talks Cement Trade Relations, Science Agreement

Mr English met with Prime Minister Turnbull in Queenstown today to discuss common approaches to bilateral and international issues, including trade and science and innovation. Mr English also thanked Mr Turnbull for Australia’s offer of support for those fighting the fires on the Port Hills in Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

Youth Guarantee: Upskilling Fund Used For Retraining

News that one in five of the people enrolling in Youth Guarantee already hold qualifications at the level they’re enrolling in highlights the failure of the scheme to reach the disengaged young people it was set up to assist, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. More>>

ALSO:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What Trump May Mean For Us

So far not much effort has been put into tracing the possible implications for New Zealand of the stream of executive orders and tweets that have been pouring from the Oval Office. Unfortunately, we may not simply be drive-by rubberneckers at this car wreck for much longer. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news