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Heavy Rain Impacts The Coast, Homes Evacuated

11 November

Contractors will be out at first light to assess and repair damage after heavy rain hit Tairāwhiti this afternoon.

Many residents along the East Coast self-evacuated after more than 185mm of rain fell north of Tolaga Bay.

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence controller Nedine Thatcher Swann says river levels peaked around 6pm with surface flooding and road damage evident across the northern part of Tairāwhiti.

Rain has since receded with modelling showing the forecast rain has moved away.

Ms Thatcher Swann says it was a close call.

“The Hikuwai River peaked at 11.6m around 6pm. Our e-texts were sent out before that and we heard many people had already self-evacuated.

“We will keep a close eye on river levels overnight and thank everyone who moved quickly today to ensure everyone was safe.”

Waka Kotahi has reopened State Highway 35 from Okitu to Tolaga Bay, however it will remain closed overnight from Tolaga Bay to Ruatoria.

Ms Thatcher Swann says even though the flood waters have receded it will still be a long night for some Coast residents.

Road closures are still in place around Tokomaru Bay and sandbags are being used to protect properties, including Hatea-A-rangi School, in case of further flooding.

Ms Thatcher Swann asks everyone to please adhere to the road closures around the region.

“Please do not remove the road cones and do not go through the barriers. They are closed for a reason.”

High tide passed without incident around 9pm tonight however a heavy swell warning remains in place for the region.

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Eastland Network has advised they will look to re-establish power at first light to a few homes around Te Araroa that are without power tonight.

Please check Council’s website for updates on road closures.

Please report any damage by filing a request for service by using the GDC FIX app on any smartphone, calling us on 0800 653 800, email service@gdc.govt.nz or via the eFix service on Council’s website.

© Scoop Media

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