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Heavy rainfall impacting Wairoa district

Screenshot 2023 02 17 at 6.21.11 PM

Heavy rainfall overnight is further impacting the saturated Wairoa district causing surface flooding in the Wairoa township and other areas.

The majority of flooding has occurred in areas north of the Wairoa River, where Cyclone Gabrielle flooding already had the greatest impact. This is thought to be associated with blocked drains and silt build up preventing proper drainage in these areas.

Some self-evacuations have been triggered. If you see water levels rising around you, please evacuate from your home if you can do so safely. If your life is at risk, call 111. The War Memorial Hall is open as a Civil Defence Centre and ready to receive anyone who needs to leave their home and cannot stay with whānau or friends.

There has also been districtwide flooding including across the road at Whakaki and Frasertown Road.

As at mid-morning on Tuesday, February 28, Wairoa had received 102mm of rainfall over the previous 24hrs, equivalent to 116% of February monthly normal. The forecast is that rain will subside throughout the day.

The Wairoa River is building but unlikely to near levels of Cyclone Gabrielle, however high tide is approaching at 1.20pm which may affect this.

Please be careful around all floodwaters and do not try to drive or cross a road if it appears to be dangerous and please stay away from rivers and waterways.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little acknowledged this is a stressful time for everyone, especially those people being impacted by the surface flooding. “We know this is a terrible time for everyone, this weather is annihilating our people, their homes, our farmland and our businesses. These have been the worst weather events we have had in living memory.

“The continual rain has also further affected our roading network. We have more than 30 roads closed throughout our district and many others are under a caution notice. We are doing everything we can to reopen roads, but the constant rain is hampering progress.”

From a State Highway perspective, SH2 between Wairoa and Gisborne is open and SH2 between Wairoa and Napier and SH38 between Wairoa and Lake Waikaremoana remain closed.

“We urge people to stay home if you can, please stay off our wet and slippery roads and only drive if you really have to. For those who need to go out please drive to the conditions and be mindful of the heavy rainfall overnight and this morning.”

Mr Little also acknowledged the isolated rural community members who have been cut off by road since Cyclone Gabrielle two weeks ago. We know we have people in our rural communities who are isolated by road. You are not forgotten and are trying as hard as we can to provide access and in the meantime are delivering supplies via helicopter drops.

“Thank you everyone for your patience while we work across our district to reconnect our communities. There will be ongoing repairs throughout our township and district, please be patient while work is carried out. Please stay safe Wairoa whānau.”

For the status of local roads head to our roading page and for State Highways Waka Kotahi Journey Planner.

For more information about our Cyclone Gabrielle response, please click the button below.

Cyclone Gabrielle

28 February 2023

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