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East Coast Suffers More Storm Damage as Access to SH2 Hampered

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The East Coast is now littered again with cracked roads, broken bridges and separated families. And there’s still more rain to come.

Already it’s meant power cuts, along with big problems with water and frayed nerves as locals endure yet another deluge.

State Highway 2 connecting Gisborne to Ōpōtiki has been severely damaged, contractors have been out cleaning what they can and assessing the damage.

1News met resident Mark Lewis while filming the damage. He said he’s now cut off from Gisborne.

“Wow, the damage is huge, my family’s stuck in town, I don’t know when I’ll see them again.”

“It’s just me and the animals at home, I have no car and even my bike has flat tires, I’m stuck,” Lewis said.

The highway damage is now causing more stress for local fruit growers.

Orchardist Shelley Hunt said the link is a lifeline for many.

“[We] had some growers at our shop in town who’ve got vegetables to get out of town on Monday and it’s looking like it’s not going to happen actually, so it’s just devastating.”

“All our growers rely on State Highway 2 to sell our fruit in Tauranga and Hamilton, this will be a big blow if it’s out for weeks,” Hunt said.

Downer traffic manager Clinton Parsons said crews are working around the clock to restore access.

“We’re dealing with a lot at the moment, and we can’t even get up to all the slips and dropouts to assess everything yet,” Parsons said.

The region still has around 300 homes and businesses without power.

First light network Jarred Moroney said he feels for the region doing it tough.

“We have about two cases, we have no access to them, so the roads are either flooded or blocked by slips or gone.”

“Nearly every contractor’s been called back because of the roads and current rain and it’s too dangerous to fly,” Moroney said.

Source: 1news

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