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Westland Emergency Management Operations Centre Activated

Westland Emergency Management activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at 7am this morning in response to the severe weather event affecting the South Westland area.

Te Aroha Cook, Group Controller West Coast Emergency Management advises, “We are working closely with the communities across the district and Emergency Services to pre-position staff and equipment into the South Westland Area. The EOC will be staffed 24 hours a day over the next few days to monitor the situation and assist the community where it’s needed.”

The Metservice is predicting heavy rain throughout the Westland and Buller Districts over the next few days. Westland EOC will be working with the Metservice to provide on-the-ground updates for accurate information to keep the community informed.

The State Highway between Haast and Franz Josef was closed overnight by two slips. NZTA has crews working on clearing the slips at Fox Hills and south of Bruce Bay. The road from Fox Glacier to Haast was reopened to a single lane at mid-day, but remains closed between Franz Josef and Fox Glacier with an expected opening to single lane from 3pm, with up to 30 minute delays.. SH6 will close again overnight from 9pm between Franz Josef and Makarora, with the next update at 10am on Thursday morning. If conditions deteriorate during the day, the highway may close earlier than 9 pm.

Areas south of Hannahs Clearing, including Arawhata, Jackson Bay and Neils Beach are currently without power due to the loss of three power poles and this is expected to last for several days. Linesmen have been deployed from Cromwell along with a digger to work on restoring the power when it is safe to do so.

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Westroads in Hokitika have deposited sandbags at the corners of Stafford and Sewell Streets, Hamilton and Tancred Streets, Tancred and Weld Streets, and Weld and Sewell Streets to residents to use to protect their homes and businesses from surface flooding.

“Our main concern is that people are safe and take care of themselves, their families and their animals,” says Ms Brown. “We urge people to stay home and avoid any unnecessary travel, and to evacuate early if they have any concerns. Stay up-to-date by visiting our Facebook page or listening to the radio news.”

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