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Civil Defence keeps watching brief as rain continues

Tairawhiti CDEM Group Emergency Coordination Update 9

5 June 2018, 9am

Civil Defence keeps watching brief as rain continues

Rivers levels in the Tolaga Bay area have receded but more rain is expected this morning and later in the week.

State Highway 35 up the East Coast is open but 12 local roads remain closed. At least 11 bridges of concern are being assessed by engineers today.

The Met Service forecasts 30 to 50mm of rain through to 1pm midday today.

Tolaga Bay received further dumps of heavy rain last night but the Hikuwai River, north of Tolaga Bay, while trending down, remains elevated at around 5.5m. The average winter flow is around 2m.

MP Kiri Allan was expected to visit the area to view the damage today along with Uawa councillor Pat Seymour.

Six crews of roading contractors will today progressively go to all the roads in the area, some of which they were unable to reach yesterday.

Tairawhiti Roads journey manager Helen Harris said some of the bridges were affected by slash, some not.

“The clean-up take some time. We working on how we will best clean up these bridges. Forestry companies are complying with our request to stay off the roads where possible. Some have offered to help remove logs damming up around bridges.”

Tairawhiti Civil Defence Emergency manager Louise Bennett said the team including Gisborne District Council’s flood warning team would be keeping a close eye on developments.

“With the catchment already saturated and the Uawa and Hikuwai rivers fairly high, if we get localised rain bands coming through, the rivers could well spike quickly again.

“We feel extremely fortunate that we did not have any fatalities yesterday as the result of the flooding.”

Close to 30 properties in the Arakihi Road area are still without power. Eastland Network may fly into the area to restore power today as the road remains closed together with Paroa, Mangatokerau, Pa, Waiomoko, Arakihi, Kiore, Anaura Bay, Kaiaua, Waihau Bay, Glenroy, Tauwhareparae and Takapau roads.

Tolaga Bay Area School was open for local children today but many children from outlying areas would not be attending.

Check the NZTA and Gisborne District Council websites for road closure updates.

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