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The Coromandel is open for business after the storm


The Coromandel is open for business after the storm



(Photo: Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi speaks to NZTA contractors on the Thames Coast Rd)
We took a hit from last week's storm, and some businesses have been badly damaged, but we're open for business so come and enjoy some local Coromandel hospitality.

Traffic is moving in both directions along the damaged Thames Coast Road (State Highway 25), which is a very long work site for NZ Transport Agency contractors at the moment.

Escorted convoys are now running only between Whakatete Bay and Te Puru, the rest of the road has some stop-go management in places but is otherwise open in both directions without a convoy system.

"While this convoy has been shortened, long delays are still to be expected on the Thames Coast Road and motorists are asked to defer their journey or take an alternative route if possible," says NZ Transport Agency.

"At this stage it is expected that the cordons and the convoy system will be removed tomorrow. Once this happens motorists should still expect delays to the usual travel time due to Stop/Go traffic management and speed restrictions in place at various locations along the road."

NZTA has also prohibited heavy vehicles on SH25 between Thames and Manaia because the road remains sensitive to further damage. Heavy vehicles can travel between Thames and Coromandel Town via Tairua on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula.

While the clean-up and recovery from last week's storm continues, the Coromandel is open for business and the alternative routes around the Coromandel, while taking a bit longer, are safe and scenic.


Ministerial visit


Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi visited the Thames Coast today for a look at SH25 and met residents of Te Puru.

He was impressed by how well the Civil Defence effort went and the close co-operation between the various agencies working to respond to the storm.

"It's a busy enough time for the Coromandel when people are coming here for their holidays and the fact that you've been helping them and looking after the locals as well is very much appreciated," he told Civil Defence staff at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in our Council building in Thames this morning.

Our Mayor Sandra Goudie also rated the Civil Defence response: "They've been absolutely outstanding and they're the best in the country. Thank you very much indeed."

While there is a core of professional Civil Defence staff, the bulk of people responding to any event are Council staff. In this situation, we had Council staff from Hauraki and Matamata-Piako Districts in Thames working at the EOC and in the field doing damage assessments.

Minister Faafoi drove up the Thames Coast Road for a look at the damage and met residents of Te Puru, who were isolated on Friday when the Coast Rd was closed. The local community helped locals move possessions and vehicles out of the way of the storm surge and then sheltered about 60 travellers who were cut off in Te Puru by the State Highway closure.

"The issue now is recovery and making sure - the road is obviously an issue and I'll take back what we've seen and heard to my colleagues," says Minister Faafoi.

"Speaking to that small group in Te Puru, in the heat of an event they were able to respond because they were organised," he says.

"Making sure local and central government are working together to make sure the infrastructure is resilient is a long-term challenge for New Zealand," the Minister says.


Recovery continues


If you're disposing of flood-damaged property, keep whiteware out of any skip bins that have been placed in your neighbourhood. They will be collected separately. If you have other items, such as damaged carpet, they can be placed kerbside for collection as well, but keep the appliances separate from the rest.

Only flood-damaged items will be collected in this fashion. Regular household rubbish and recycling can be placed out for the scheduled Kerbside collection. See www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside for the schedule for your area.

If you have non-flood-damaged items you wish to dispose of, take them to our nearest Refuse Transfer Station (RTS) for drop-off as usual. Go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/rts for locations and hours.
Rubbish in official blue Council bags and recycling can be left at any RTS for free.

How to stay up to date
• A new webpage has been set up to provide travel information for the journey from Thames to Manaia www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/sh25
• The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions nationwide is www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic
• Important information is also shared via the Transport Agency’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here www.nzta.govt.nz/contact-us/connect-with-us/
• You can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to NZTA's call centre team who can provide you with traffic and travel information either before you're travelling or when you're on the road.
• You can also stay up to date by following our Council's Facebook page

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