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Mop Up Underway In Tairāwhiti

The sun may be shining but the region is still saturated and caution is advised on Tairāwhiti roads.

Council staff and contractors have been working through the weekend and will be out and about this morning checking roads and properties as the recovery phase begins in earnest. Work on the many potholes will be prioritised but most have speed restrictions on them.

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence group controller Dave Wilson asks people to please adhere to those.

“Drive to the conditions. There are still potholes, slumps and bumps so be careful.”

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued by MetService for the region for this afternoon, which could bring localised downpours with intensities of 25-40mm an hour and possibly hail. It is expected this will mostly miss the city, skirting around inland from Ruatorea and north of Tolaga Bay.

The wastewater system is still being surcharged with a large volume of water moving through the system. Residents are being asked to only wash clothes, flush toilets and shower as necessary to relieve neighbourhoods’ wastewater systems.

“Our focus this morning is on the 18 homes we have been working with,” says Mr Wilson, “to ensure they are safe enough for people to move back into as soon as feasible. The ground is still moving given just how saturated it is.”

People who live on hillsides or riverbanks are being asked to check their properties for any sign of movement.

A tree fell onto a house in Ruatorea on Saturday afternoon but no whānau were home at the time and contractors quickly moved in to protect the residence from the weather.

Horticulturalists are out assessing the damage to crops today, with the consensus being it was extremely lucky it stopped raining when it did.

The beach has a lot of woody debris, comprising mostly of willow, but no forestry slash. Welfare support is available through the Ministry of Social Development to those who need it.

Anyone with any concerns can call Council’s 24/7 0800 653 800 line.

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