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Communities hold up well in extreme weather

Communities hold up well in extreme weather

Extreme weather has caused disruption over parts of the country for the past couple of days and it may not be completely over yet, Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye says.

“No states of emergency have been declared anywhere in the country at this stage but people should heed advice from local authorities and civil defence emergency management groups,” Ms Kaye says.

“During events like this it is important to think about those in our communities who are most vulnerable and I urge people to check on their neighbours if they are in hard hit areas.

“This morning in the south difficult conditions caused by high rainfall earlier in the week have been compounded by heavy snow falls impacting farmers and town communities alike. There are extensive road closures, some schools are closed and emergency services and civil defence working hard.

“Further north in the South Island the cold conditions, high winds and big seas have disrupted transport networks including State Highway 1 on the Kaikoura coast, the inter-island ferries and the airlines.

“Wellington has been hit by very high winds overnight with many homes losing power, trees down, roads closed and rail and bus networks disrupted. Some homes in exposed areas of the city have lost roofs and the south coast has been battered by the combined effect of high winds and very big seas.

“Emergency services, civil defence staff and council crews have worked extremely hard in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions to restore services.

“I appreciate their hard work and commitment to the impacted communities. But the extent of the damage in many areas is such that it might take some time for normal services to be resumed.

“Those without services will need patience and support from neighbours.

“If you are safe at home and have no need to travel, stay put.

“Listen to the radio for updates of conditions in your area. If you need the assistance of Police Fire or ambulance call 111.

“Despite the severity of the storm, people have responded well. I attribute this to three factors.

“The forecasts have been accurate and timely. People have heeded the forecasts and prepared themselves well. Communities have been very well served by their emergency services, community based civil defence and partner organisations who have planned for the impact and have been able to maintain essential services while responding to calls for help.

“I hope to visit some of the affected areas over the next 48 hours.”

ends


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