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Council Emergency Operation Centre established

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An Emergency Operation Centre has been set up by the Wairoa District Council with staff monitoring Cyclone Gabrielle and its impacts on the district.

Cyclone Gabrielle continues to move southeast down the North Island with high winds and heavy rainfall set to lash many regions of the North Island today and tomorrow.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said while there have not yet been any local significant weather-related reports, he wants all Wairoa’s communities to know the situation is being monitored. “Our district is still recovering from last year’s significant weather events. That is still fresh in our minds, and we are remaining watchful with the safety of people our priority.

“We are in contact with emergency responders, other agencies and our regional neighbours and are working together to ensure the right calls are made.

“We know Tairawhiti is under enormous pressure with the region declaring another local state of emergency. That is not a trigger for Wairoa to rush into any decisions. At this stage we do not have any situations that need additional emergency powers to manage any impacts on public safety.

“We will continue to monitor the situation, and if public safety requires that we have reached a level where a declaration is needed then that is what we will do.

“In the meantime, I urge people to stay informed, have a plan, be prepared and communicate with your whānau and friends. Keep a grab bag of key items handy and be prepared to evacuate, particularly if you are in a low-lying area, or an area that has been impacted by flooding in the past. People are encouraged to self-evacuate if they do not feel safe. If you see rising water do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater.”

Residents are encouraged to stay up to date by checking the MetService warnings and following Civil Defence Emergency Management Group on social media. Wairoa District Council will also be updating its Facebook page and website.

Meanwhile, tips to help you keep safe include: secure your outside gear to the ground, plan your food for the three days, prepare for power cuts, pack a bag that you can grab if you need to evacuate quickly. Check in on your whānau, your kaumātua and your neighbours to see if they need any support.

13 February 2023

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