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Several rural roads opened but further rain, snow expected

Tairawhiti CDEM Group Emergency Coordination Centre

MEDIA RELEASE

Date/Time: Update 11

6 June 2018, 10.30am

Several rural roads opened but further rain and snow expected

Three Tolaga Bay families forced out of their homes by the weekend’s flooding are safe with family and friends this morning. But heavy rain forecast from 9pm tonight south of Te Puia Springs could cause further issues in the rain-soaked wider Tolaga Bay region.

A severe weather watch has been issued for an active cold front this evening, bringing heavy rain and significant snowfall for the southern Gisborne area above about 500 metres.

Heavy rain is expected south of Te Puia Springs, especially the eastern hills, from 9pm tonight until 3am Thursday.

Anaura Bay, Kaiaua, Waihau Bay, Pa, Waiomoko, Panikau and Andrews roads are now open. Arakihi, West Ho, Kiore, Paroa, Glenroy, Tauwhareparae, Takapau and Mangatokerau roads remain closed.

A major slip on the Arakihi Road, off Tauwhareparae Road at Tolaga Bay, was expected to be pushed through today to allow emergency services access into residents beyond the slip.

Tairawhiti Roads journey manager Helen Harris said the Arakihi Road still had major issues on it. Arakihi, West Ho and Kiore remain closed.

“We have slips, one of them major, scours, a collapsed retaining wall and culverts jammed with debris on sealed and unsealed sections of the road.

“Bridges in the area are being progressively inspected by engineers.”

Police area commander Sam Aberahama urges the public to respect “Road Closed” signs around the district.

“The roads are closed for public safety and to allow roading contractors to do their job safely without having to watch out for the public. To do so would take away our resources from where they are currently needed.

“We ask everyone to respect that these contractors are very busy responding to this weather event and dealing with the recovery of the roads. We remind the public that if there is an accident on a closed road, they are not covered by insurance.”

This morning, Civil Defence recovery manager Patrick Willock, Uawa/Whangara resident farmer Nick Seymour and AgFirst representative Steven Thompson were to fly over the Tolaga Bay, Tauwhareparae, Mangatuna and Whangara areas to gain an overview of the situation facing rural residents.

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