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4:30pm weather and roading update

The Coromandel has received a thorough drenching today and while there are concerns for some communities around this afternoon’s high tide, most of the rainfall should leave the area by 9pm tonight.

More than 260mm of rainfall has been recorded on the Pinnacles over the last 24 hours – substantially more than the 110mm that was predicted.

While the weather is showing signs of easing in some areas, there is possibly another 30mm-60mm of rain still to come north of Tairua, before easing around 8pm.

A small number of people in Kuaotunu are displaced by flooding or are on standby to be evacuated around the 4pm high tide.

Major slips around Kuaotunu have affected access for many residents. SH25 between Kuaotunu and Whitianga will remain closed overnight. SH25 between Kuaotunu and Coromandel Town is not open.

Residents and visitors at Otama and Opito Bays are isolated due to road closures and remain so overnight. All local residents in those communities are safe, however.

Most of our local district roads are expected to be passable by 6pm after this afternoon’s tide recedes.

However, Hikuai Settlement Rd may not be passable until much later this evening (9pm-10pm) and Blackjack Road is likely to be closed overnight due to multiple large slips.

See below for the latest update on road closures.

“If you can avoid travelling around the eastern seaboard this afternoon and overnight, do so,” says our Civil Defence Controller, Garry Towler.

“Although some roads may be marginal, we don’t want people being caught out. There’s also the risk of more slips as a result of the saturation,” Garry says.

“The message is to try and avoid travel if you can, and to expect things to be business as usual by daylight tomorrow.”

As the weather eases, we encourage our residents to check-in on their neighbours and make sure they are ok. If you have any concerns about friends or relatives, phone us on 07 8680200.

The Emergency Operations Centre will remain open until this evening, which will focus on monitoring our isolated northern communities, some of which have lost internet connection.

Garry commends our communities for their response to this weather event.

“Although we saw the rain coming, it was twice as intense as we were advised. However, the communities, emergency services and staff all responded well, and it demonstrates why community resilience and community planning is so important,” Garry says.

Residents in Hikutaia, Matatoki, Puriri and Omahu may notice slight discolouration in their drinking water – this is simply due to the amount of rainfall in the catchment. “It’s nothing to worry about and is normal when we have such a heavy rain event,” Garry says.

Wastewater management across the district has not been affected by the weather.

State highway road closures include:
• SH25 Tairua to Hikuai (near the Tairua River Bridge and near Hikuai Settlement Road)
• SH25 Kuaotunu – this will likely be closed overnight
• SH25 Whitianga to Tairua (Kaimarama)

Local Council district roads:
We expect our local roads to be passable as the tide recedes after 6pm, however Hikuai Settlement Road may not be clear until much later this evening and Blackjack Road is likely to be closed over night due to multiple large slips.

• Hikuai Settlement Rd
• Blackjack Road – There have been multiple slips and will likely be closed overnight.
• Puketui Road
• Hotwater Beach Road
• Wentworth Valley Road
• School Rd, Hikuai
• Tapu Coroglen Road – open but has minor slips so caution is advised.
• Old Coach Road, Kaimarama - open to one lane.
• Bluff Road, Kuaotunu - open
• Victoria Street, Tararu - open

Here are some websites to help you stay informed in weather events:

Check MetService for the latest weather forecasts on this weather system.

We'll also include updates on known local Council road closures. If you see a Council road that is impassable due to flooding or a debris, call us on 07 868 0200. If the issue is with a State Highway (eg, the Thames Coast Road, Kopu-Hikuai Road) please tell NZ Transport Agency on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can also provide traffic and travel information.

Check NZTA's website before you travel for the latest information about road closures or work underway. You can also use their journey-planning website www.onthemove.govt.nz to plan the best route for your journey, taking into account known issues and traffic on state highways.

Red Cross Hazards App - alerts about hazards. Download from the App Store or Google Play.

Local radio - Check stations and frequencies here.

Emergency Mobile Alert - these can be sent to your mobile phone, without needing to download an app or sign up. Check if your phone is capable of receiving them, here

Know your neighbours - phone each other, especially vulnerable people, to check if they're OK.

Waikato Regional Council has set up an online hub for rainfall and flood-related information to help people more easily keep up to date with severe weather events in the region. It can be found here.

We will post regular updates on our Council's Facebook page as well as on our website and email newsletters.

Also follow Waikato Civil Defence on Facebook here and check out their website for updates here.

To report a power outage contact your provider, however to get further information on power outages see Powerco's webiste.

For more on these channels, and other information about staying informed in emergencies, go to the Civil Defence "Never Happens" website.

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