Cyclone Hale made its presence felt overnight with heavy rainfall and stormy weather conditions. However, reports so far indicate that while sodden, the Wairoa District has come off relatively unscathed.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little acknowledged the challenges the Tairawhiti district is undergoing. “We really feel for our neighbouring residents further up the coast who have been severely impacted by the cyclone. Tairawhiti declared a state of local emergency at 10pm last night (Tuesday). They have had huge amounts of rainfall with gale force winds and swells up to 6m along the coast.
“We will be offering our support and are mindful that many of Wairoa’s more remote areas, particularly those near the Tairawhiti boundary, have also had a stormy few days.
“Locally, theWairoa District Council established an Incident Management Team which has been monitoring the weather situation with additional services on standby.
“It has been great to see the way our community steps up with people taking care of those who are more vulnerable and generally checking in and making sure everyone is ok.”
The Wairoa River mouth is wide open and in a good location with a high but steady river flow. The river has not yet breached its banks, however, there has been a lot of rainfall and this will cause rivers and waterways to rise rapidly. The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council will continue to monitor waterways and people are reminded to stay away from rivers and streams.
The Te Reinga Bridge remains closed to vehicles and pedestrians with the high levels of the Hangaroa/Ruakituri River triggering the closure as a safety precaution. The bridge will remain closed until the river has receded and it can be determined there is no additional damage. Extra attention is being given to the alternative Ohuka/Erepeti route to ensure accessibility.
State Highway 2 has been closed due to slips and the Tiniroto Road is closed at the Gisborne end due to flooding.
Overnight, Council received reports of a tree blocking the Mahia East Coast Road which has been removed and a tree across the Special Purpose Road SH 38 (lake Waikaremoana) is being attended to.
Rainfall recordings show the Nuhaka area received the most rain with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council rain gauges showing 100mm of rainfall.
Wairoa’s township stormwater network managed the rainfall well with outlets clear and flowing with minimal surface flooding around town. The wastewater system also coped well, and all drinking water storage reservoirs are full.
If you experience a power outage please report this to 0800 206 207. Please treat all lines as live at all times.
Forecasters are predicting showers, some heavy, for the rest of the day and a risk of thunderstorms inland and about the Wairoa District this afternoon.
With heavy rain still forecast people are advised to stay home if they can, and if you have to drive, please exercise caution on all roads.
If you feel you, your family and/or your property are at risk, immediately contact emergency services on 111.
For any Wairoa District Council related reports please phone the Council’s 24/7 number, 06 838 7309.
Photo: Kaiwaitau Road, Mahia
11 January 2023
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