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Ruapehu weather event update - Friday 1.30pm

Ruapehu weather event update - Friday 1.30pm

Ruapehu District Council Emergency Management Centre (EOC) Controller Clive Manley said that conditions have improved considerably and that crews are making good progress on getting roads open and other services restored.

“It is looking like we can see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and that things are starting to get back to normal,” he said.

“Road crews are continuing to focus their efforts on the State Highways and at this stage we are expecting the road between Taumarunui to Waiouru (SH4 and SH49) will be open this afternoon.”

“This will allow people who have been wanting to leave the area to do so which will relieve the bulk of the potential welfare issues.”

“With the Desert Rd between Waiouru and Turangi (SH1) expected to be closed for another day or so the Taumarunui-Waiouru route will be the main north-south route.”

“With low temperatures forecast for tonight the roads could freeze so anyone who wants to leave should get on the road as soon as they are announced open.”

“The Police reported that there were a few incidents of people driving on roads when they shouldn’t be and then getting into trouble.”

“Although roads are becoming passable, they are not yet at the stage where they can be declared open for general public use.”

“People should watch the NZTA website for the latest State Highway information.”

“When the roads do reopen there will still be very difficult driving conditions.”

“Even if the road is open, if in their estimation, it does not look safe to drive, or they are not experienced in driving in these conditions, they should make the wise decision not to drive.”

“Once the State Highway network is open road crews will be able to turn their attention to local roads where the priority will be Ohakune and National Park.”

Mr. Manley said that council was also asking people to take care when walking around on frozen footpaths as St John had reported needing to treat a number of people who had slipped up.

“The power outages caused issues for our water and wastewater treatment plants.”

“We still need people to conserve water especially in Ohakune and Whakapapa Village.”

“With the restoration of power all our wastewater pump stations are working again except for Waiouru and Pipiriki.”
“Powerco has advised that power has been restored except in Waiouru.”

“Commercial accommodation providers are reporting that they are almost full which is great for the forecast fine weather and good skiing and boarding we are expecting over the weekend.”

“Anyone planning to come to Ruapehu for the weekend should ensure that they have confirmed their accommodation before-hand.”

*End*

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