The evacuation of Gow Road is progressing well. We have had to evacuate the area due to water levels rising as a result of ponding moving through the catchment. Evacuees should go to friends and family or to the welfare centre at Whakatāne War Memorial Hall.

 

Power has now been restored to pumps that are pumping excess water away and Awaiti canal has been opened to reduce pressure. Matahina dam flows are being temporarily reduced to allow breach repair works later this afternoon.

 

Police are reminding people to respect the Edgecumbe evacuation cordon and road closures. Once residents leave their homes they are not able to return until they officially notified. Crews are working hard to reduce water levels in the area and make it safe for people to return. They will be re-assessing the situation at midday and providing further advice then.

 

Welfare and evacuation centres do not require any donated goods. Offers of food, clothing and other items can be made by calling the Council on 306 0500. They will take details and connect donations with people if required.

 

The Te Teko/Otakiri Road intersection is flooded and impassable. Police have installed a new cordon on the corner of Powell and Te Teko Roads to prevent traffic from entering Edgecumbe from the south and are asking people to avoid travelling into Edgecumbe from any direction.

 

 

Other flood-related impacts are as follows:

  • The Whakatāne and Rangitaiki Rivers have experienced unprecedented 1:500 year flood events. That has seen breaches of stopbanks on both rivers. The Whakatāne River level is continuing to subside. The Rangitāiki River flow is now falling, but significant flows will continue today.
  • A rural area on the western side of the Whakatane River has also been evacuated.
  • Emergency Civil Defence Centres have been set up in Whakatāne (War Memorial Hall) and Kawerau (Rautahi Marae – Onslow Street) to accommodate displaced residents. It may be up to 72 hours before people will be able to return to their homes to assess the damage.
  • Tāneatua’s water supply reservoir is low and residents have been asked to conserve water wherever possible until water treatment operations resume.
  • A boil water notice is in force for Rūātoki residents.
  • All available resources have been deployed to reopen roads and provide any assistance residents in affected areas may require.

 

Further information

 

Key additional messages:

  • To report road closures, slips, stormwater and sewerage problems dial the Council on 3060500
  • To find the location of welfare centres dial the Council on 3060500 or go on the Council’s website at whakatane.govt.nz or Facebook page Facebook.com/whakatanedistrictcouncil

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