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Cyclone Gita – Marlborough Civil Defence Update 12.20 pm

Cyclone Gita – Marlborough Civil Defence Update No.2

12.20 pm 20 February 2018

Marlborough’s Emergency Operations Centre in Blenheim is monitoring the cyclone Gita impacts. All Marlborough’s Civil Defence agencies met this morning and the centre will be staffed until midnight tonight.

There is local road flooding in some parts of the region. People should restrict their travel today if possible. Road conditions are not good. State Highway 1 is closed at Clarence. Rainfall is steady but not heavy and there is currently little wind.

Marlborough’s major river systems should be able to cope with the current rainfall intensity, but there could be flooding if there are heavier bursts of rainfall in local catchments. Levels in the Wairau River system won’t peak until tomorrow morning Wednesday.

We are closely monitoring the Pelorus River at Canvastown and there may be surface flooding on SH63 at Wairau Valley township.

Welfare staff have been liaising with vulnerable communities and public awareness messages are being shared on marine radio, Brian FM and via Marlborough District Council’s communications channels. The Red Cross has welfare staff available and on call in Marlborough. Civil Defence is ready to open civil defence centres if required.

Destination Marlborough says that all visitors in Marlborough are being accommodated. The Picton, Blenheim and Havelock i-SITEs are operating as normal and can assist visitors with disrupted travel plans. The Cook Strait ferries are running as normal; the next cruise ship visit is not expected untilThursday. The intercity bus service to Christchurch has been suspended.

Blenheim airport is affected by flight cancellations; people should check with their airline.

The Department of Conservation has been advising campers to leave its campsites and most have done so. Renwick Domain is available for freedom campers and other temporary camp sites are also being investigated.

People should ring 111 if they have an emergency. Council’s call centre is available for general enquiries – call 03 520 7400. Please follow Council’s Facebook page, website and Twitter account.

Another Marlborough Civil Defence update is expected to be available early this evening.

ENDS

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