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Emergency status to remain

22 July 2004

Emergency status to remain

The Civil Defence Emergency will remain in place in the Whakatane District until Friday 23 July 2004 at 4:00 pm when it will be further reviewed.

The reasons for the extension are:

There are a large number of buildings underwater. There are continuing problems with slips. A complete assessment of the level of risk has not been completed.

Thanks to Army and Air Force

The Whakatane District Council wishes to thank the New Zealand Army and Air Force for their outstanding effort and assistance in rescuing people over the first five days of this emergency. Now that the nature of the emergency has changed, there is little more these services can do to help and they've been withdrawn to their home bases. They are, however, still on call and, should the situation change, they will come straight back.

Thanks to Volunteers

The Civil Defence Controller advises that thanks to the outstanding efforts of volunteers in the Awatapu region who assisted with the drainage pipes and manned the pumps throughout the night, the streets of Awatapu are now free of water and people can return to secure their properties.

Inspectors are going from house-to-house and have completed inspections in all streets of Awatapu except Thompson Crescent and Ratima Place, which should be completed by 4:30 pm today. Inspectors are also working in the Edgecumbe area.

Access to schools

Access to all schools has been reinstated. For those schools on Whakatane District Council reticulated water and sewerage services, these too have been reinstated.

However, the decision to open or close schools remains the responsibility of the school.

ENDS


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