Media Release –– Levin Tornado – Update 3 – 12.21pm – 20 May 2022
Levin was hit by a Tornado at approximately 6.30am this morning, causing havoc, taking down trees, impacting power lines and taking off roofs. Drone footage shows approximately 30-50 houses have suffered damage, with further damage to many more fences and other property. Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) urges people to stay home unless travel is critical.
One person has received minor injuries as a result of breaking glass. Fire and Emergency have activated an Urban Search and Rescue team, which will work alongside Council’s Building team to prioritise assessment along all the roads and streets that have received damaged or are closed. The Palmerston North City Council Rescue Emergency Support team has been deployed to assist. Rangitikei District Council has offered assistance to capture drone footage, to understand the extent of the damage.
While the worst of the weather front looks to have passed, Horowhenua/Kāpiti is under a severe thunderstorm watch, with localised heavy rain events happening across the district. Hailstones of 10-20mm and 120kmph wind gusts have been forecast.
A welfare support centre has been set up at the Youth Space in Te Takeretanga-o-kura-hau-pō on Bath Street, Levin. Welfare officers are working to secure accommodation for those that have been displaced. A rapid response caravan has been set up in the Levin Mall carpark.
If you have urgent welfare needs please ring Council’s main number on 06 366 0999, as support is available. Please keep pets and animals sheltered.
As at 11.48am today Horowhenua/Kāpiti has had 11,882 customer affected with power outages – 11,185 customers have had their power restored and 797 remain without power.
Visit outages.electra.co.nz for updates to power supply in the district. Please treat all power lines as live at all times.
Streets and roads that have been cleared and are now open:
· Tararua Road
· George Street
· Skye Street
· Winchester Street
· Parker Street
· Wilton Street
· Sterling Street
· Adkin Avenue
· Hinemoa Street
Streets and roads that remain closed
· Oxford Street/SH1 (is due to open by 12.30pm)
· Cambridge Street (currently being cleared)
· Gladstone Road (closed but passable to one lane south of Tararua Road, open north of Tararua Road)
· Tawa Street.
A traffic management plan has been put in place for north and south bound SH1 traffic. Northbound traffic is being diverted to Mako Mako Road – Tiro Tiro Road – Kawiu Road. Southbound traffic is being diverted to York Street – Weraroa Road – Mako Mako Road. Contractors are working to clear SH1 of tree debris.
The following schools are closed while we assess the damage:
· St Joseph’s School
· Learning Adventures
· Levin School
· Levin Intermediate School
· Horowhenua College
· Ōhau School
Animal Control is working with the SPCA, picking up and caring for displaced animals.
Supplies are being deployed by teams on the ground to assist with damaged properties and weather- proof houses.
Water treatment plants at Shannon and Tokomaru are currently offline due to turbidity. Water storage capacity is sufficient, but as a precaution tankers have been activated for Tokomaru.
The Levin Wastewater Treatment Plant has suffered non-critical isolated damage. Foxton Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant has a power outage.
The CDEM Incident Management Team has been called.in to assist emergency services throughout Levin. National and Regional Civil Defence Emergency Services are in support and will be called on if needed. Police officers, Fire and Emergency officers, St Johns, Contractors, Electra and Arborists have all been activated to assist and assess. We will keep you updated as we know more.