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TCDC - Weather update - 7 January 10.30am

Weather update - 7 January 10.30am

The Thames Coast Road, State Highway 25, remains closed between Tararu, north of Thames, and Manaia and has now become a very long work site. Escorted convoys for residents only will continue today, at times as required, Sunday 7 January, between Tararu and Te Puru. The cordons will be manned 24/7.

“Through traffic will not be allowed to join the convoys today and we also ask local people who don’t have an urgent need, to refrain from joining a convoy, as this slows down our ability to complete repair work for all the Coast Road communities,” says Karen Boyt, NZ Transport Agency System Manager.

“We encourage people who can avoid this area to stay away so crews are not held up managing them instead of repairing the highway.

“On Saturday we completed our assessment and prioritisation of the damage to the Thames Coast Road. There is a large volume of work ahead of us and of all the damaged sites we have identified 29 high priority locations between Tararu and Manaia. Whilst these high priority sites have a total length of 3.5km, a considerable length, the total length of damage to the Thames Coast Road is in the order of three times this length – around ten kilometres of damaged highway.

“Our first task is to work on the high priority sites as this will allow us to open the road to one lane using escorted convoys along the full length of the Thames Coast Road. These convoys are expected to run about every 30 minutes for full public use. We have brought extra resources onto the peninsula and will now have four excavators and two graders working to open the road to one lane.

“We are aiming to send the first full length public convoy through on Monday morning, 8 January, but we continue to encourage drivers who can take alternate routes to do so.”

All holiday traffic heading home today should use the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula, says Ms Boyt, via Tairua. “People who need to travel should expect delays as a result of the closure of the Thames Coast Road and extra traffic on these routes. Please build in extra time and be patient for everyone’s safety.

“In the middle of the week coming, around 10 January, we will provide an update on the full programme of recovery work to return the Thames Coast Road to two lanes of traffic.”

In other updates
• Skip bins and portaloos are available in Kaiaua and Te Puru
• Take pictures of any flooding or weather-related damage to help your insurer with their assessment when you make a claim. This is especially important if you need to move damaged or contaminated goods from your house for health and safety reasons
• In addition to this Rural support trust outreach will start from tomorrow.
• Water restrictions are still in place around the Coromandel. You can read them here
• A water tanker will be at the GAS station in Kaiaua from 9am-11am todayWe’re focusing on making sure people in affected communities have what they need to stay in their homes for the next 24-48 hours.
• If you need assistance, let us know.If you are heading home from the eastern Coromandel today, you need to take State Highway 25a (via Hikuai), as the Thames Coast Road is closed.
• A total fire ban remains in place for the Coromandel.
• All our local Council roads are open.
• Our 24-hour Customer Services phone line is back online, however we are still experiencing some issues. If you have any issues with our main line 07 868 0200 please call us on 07 868 0206.
• In Whangamata some residents are experiencing discoloration of their water supply. One of the water sources is higher in an iron oxide which makes it a yellowish colour. The team have checked the filters but as they say no health issue.
• The Pauanui water treatment plant was able to recommence production of water from late yesterday, but customers are asked to conserve water as demand is met and reservoirs refilled. The water being supplied in Pauanui throughout the weather event has remained safe and potable with no issues with quality.
• The power is off to around 70 properties in Thames/Opito but should be restored today.
• Hannfords Wharf is now open.
• DOC has confirmed the Pinnacles Hut is open. The road is open with some metal washout but still driveable for two wheel vehicles.
• The Thames to Kopu and Kopu to Kaiaua sections of the Hauraki Rail Trail are likely to be closed due to damage to the foreshore stopbanks along which it runs. That damage will be inspected next week.
If you must travel, check NZTA's website here first for the latest information about road closures. You can also use their journey-planning website [http://www.onthemove.govt.nz] to plan the best route for your journey, taking into account known issues and traffic on state highways.

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