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Evacuation ordered for vulnerable coastal areas


Evacuation ordered for vulnerable coastal areas

Due to the extreme risk of storm surges and coastal inundation, the decision has been made to evacuate all properties on West End Road (mandatory evacuation) of Ohope, and all beachfront properties on the seaward side of Pohutukawa Avenue, through to Te Akau Street. Properties adjacent to the Maraetōtara Stream, Millers Stream and Wharekura Stream may also be vulnerable to storm surge travelling up the stream.

People are advised to self-evacuate to friends or family in the first instance, or to go to the Civil Defence Centre at the Whakatane War Memorial Hall. People should take pets with them, and where possible, ensure they are contained in pet carriers. Harbourside streets Ōhiwa Parade and Liddon Parade; and a small number of properties on the southern side of Harbour Road along the harbour edge, may also be impacted and residents of those areas are also advised to self-evacuate.

Residents living in these areas who have neighbours who may be in need of help to evacuate are asked to offer assistance wherever possible.

All stream crossing points in Ōhope are considered to be vulnerable and people are advised to treat them with extreme care

Further evacuations are being initiated for all campgrounds at the western end of the Whakatāne District, including the DOC campground in Matatā (mandatory), Murphy’s Holiday Camp, the Pikowai Campground (mandatory), Ōtamarākau freecamping area and the Thornton Beach Holiday Park (seaward side only) are also being asked to evacuate. People who are in camper vans or motorhomes in the campgrounds should seek higher or sheltered ground as soon as possible but are advised to be aware of extreme wind conditions.
Residents of the Awatarariki fanhead area around Clem Elliot Drive are also being asked to self-evacuate. Evacuees from these locations are advised to seek shelter with friends or family living away from the immediate coastal hazard area, or go to the Whakatāne War Memorial Hall.

Storm surge waves of up to 5-metres are expected once Cyclone Cook impacts the area, which is likely to be from 6pm. That wave height will cover West End Road.

All stream crossing points in Ōhope are considered to be vulnerable and people are advised to treat them with extreme care.

Early evacuation is advised.

Heavy rain and extreme winds are likely to coincide with the storm surge, increasing the risks associated with slips from District escarpments and trees falling onto properties and across roads. Whakatāne Civil Defence urges District residents to stay off the roads during the peak of the storm impact, from 6pm tonight onwards.

Anyone not in the evacuation zones, but who feels unsafe should also consider self-evacuating to a safe location.

Further advisories will be issued later in the day.

ENDS

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