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Red Rain Alert Lifts for Tairāwhiti as Region Takes Stock of Damage


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A red rain alert over Tai Rāwhiti ended on Sunday morning, but the region will be taking stock of significant further damage.

MetService on Saturday night forecast a further 30 to 40mm of rain would fall from Tolaga Bay north until 6am on Sunday.

It said while the amount was not significant on its own, a high risk of slips, falling trees and dropouts remained due to the repeated drenchings in the region.

Heavy rain watches for Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough were also lifted, but a heavy rain watch remained in place for Westland from Sunday afternoon.

Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz said the rain had caused more problems for the region’s roads, with large cracks appearing and fresh landslides and dropouts.

“We have had several events this year, our network is very fragile and we will need to look at how we build resilience going forward.”

She said an assessment of the damage would get underway soon and the council would be talking with the government and Waka Kotahi on ways to make the region more resilient.

Stoltz urged anyone worried about whether their property was safe after the rain, not to wait to be told officially to evacuate and to not take risks.

Residents were also urged to avoid flushing toilets and doing washing, while the wastewater system was overwhelmed.

Washed out bridge on SH50.
Washed out bridge on SH50. (Source: Supplied)

About 300 homes were without power in Tai Rāwhiti on Saturday, with damaged roads, slips and floods preventing repair crews from getting to some areas.

By Saturday afternoon there were 48 evacuees in Tai Rāwhiti welfare centres, though more had self-evacuated to stay with families and friends. A council team was helping those in need of assistance.

Residents west of Gisborne city at Bushy Knoll were cut off after a local bridge was damaged by flooding, and also had no electricity.

In the past week, 546mm of rain had been recorded inland from Ruatoria, and about 240mm in the city.

Source: 1news


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