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Cyclone Gita – Marlborough Civil Defence Update No. 3

Cyclone Gita – Marlborough Civil Defence Update No. 3
5.30pm 20 February 2018

Marlborough’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Blenheim is continuing to monitor cyclone Gita’s impacts.

There has been steady rainfall all day in most parts of the region and there is some local road flooding. People should restrict their travel and stay home this evening. Driving conditions are hazardous and State Highway 1 remains closed at Clarence.

We expect stronger winds and heavier rainfall, particularly on the East Coast. Most response agencies have staff on standby into the evening and the EOC will stay open for now.

Overall rainfall has been lower than expected in Marlborough. This means it is unlikely Canvastown will get flooded and SH6 to Nelson can remain open. SH63 also remains open although there is surface flooding in places.

Accommodation is becoming scarce and anyone arriving in Marlborough this evening without a prebooking is unlikely to find a motel or hotel room.

Most campers have relocated to higher ground and freedom campers are being directed to temporary sites: the i-SITE at Blenheim railway station; Endeavour Park in Picton and the Giesen Centre in Renwick.

Waikawa Marae and Canvastown Civil Defence Centre are on standby but it is hoped they will not be required.

Marlborough’s major river systems are expected to cope with the rainfall. Levels in the Wairau system won’t peak until tomorrowmorning Wednesday.

Welfare staff have been liaising with local communities and public awareness messages are being shared on marine radio, Brian FM, More FM and via Marlborough District Council’s communications channels.

Cook Strait ferries are running for now. The intercity bus service to Christchurch was suspended earlier today. Blenheim airport is affected by flight cancellations.

People should ring 111 if they have an emergency concerning life or property. Marlborough District Council’s call centre is available through the evening for general enquiries – call 03 520 7400.

This is expected to the final Marlborough Civil Defence update for today.

ENDS

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