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Coast Drenched In Easterly Weather

Households have self-evacuated as river levels continue to rise across the Tolaga Bay region as rain saturates already wet ground.

There are multiple slips on State Highway 35 and Gisborne District Council Civil Defence Emergency Management are urging people not to travel unless absolutely necessary. Dave Wilson, Council director of lifelines, says there is a lot of surface flooding throughout the district. “Now is not the time to go sightseeing,” he says. Contractors will be out at first light clearing the roads.

The Hikuwai River is currently at 11.94m and rising, making it nearly equivalent to the recorded flood level in June 2018. High tide passed at 3.30am. Three houses at Mangatuna having self-evacuated and five more cut off, but safe for now. Uawa Civil Defence Community Link members have established a base at Tolaga Bay Area School and been calling residents to warn them of the conditions. The Uawa catchment is already sodden after recent rainfall. Over the last 24 hours, Te Puia has had the biggest fall with 283mm of rain. Around the city 50-80mm fell, with 81mm recorded at Goodwin Road. Persistent 80-100mm is forecast to fall north of Tolaga Bay over the next 24 hours.

“This is an unusual weather pattern for this time of year,” says Mr Wilson. “It has come from the north east and brought with it long persistent rainfall saturating the region.”

Keep an eye on https://www.gdc.govt.nz/road-information/ and www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/gisborne for the latest in road conditions.

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