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Bridge clearing takes longer than expected

GISBORNE CDEM GROUP EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE

MEDIA RELEASE

Date/time: 3pm, 21 September 2015 Release No: 4

Bridge clearing takes longer than expected

Contractors continue to work towards clearing woody debris from underneath both sides of the Gladstone Road bridge this afternoon. And State Highway 2 remains closed between north of Ormond with floodwaters of half a metre still crossing the highway in several places.

The Waimata River peaked at 9.3m and had begun dropping but the debris under the Gladstone Road bridge was artificially holding up levels of water, causing flooding in and around the Waimata and Taruheru rivers.

The job to clear the debris proved more difficult than expected. Power and gas had to be disconnected and rerouted.

The Waipaoa River was at 8.6m at Kanakanaia early this afternoon and still rising.

Civil Defence group controller Peter Higgs said the State Highway may not open until7pm.

“We advise people wanting to return to the Te Karaka area tonight to make alternative arrangements to stay the night in town. If they are unable to do so, please contact Civil Defence for assistance.

“Please check the Gisborne District Council website and Facebook page for further updates.”


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