Waipaoa River Flood Warning: Evacuation and Transportation Disruptions in Gisborne, New Zealand
Rising River Levels Prompt Evacuation Alerts
In Gisborne, New Zealand, a flood warning has been issued for the Waipaoa River near the settlement of Te Karaka. Tairāwhiti Civil Defence has announced that the river is anticipated to peak at 6 meters. However, data from the council’s website indicates that as of 11:30 pm on Monday, the river level at Kanakanaia had already exceeded 6.8 meters. As a result of the rising water level of the Kanakanaia River, the Waikohu Civil Defence is advising residents of the East Coast settlement to evacuate their homes. Furthermore, motorists are being cautioned to avoid crossing the Puha Bridge.
Mangatu Marae Opens Its Doors to Evacuees
These warnings come as the Tai Rāwhiti area experiences heavy rainfall, prompting additional flood warnings for the Waipaoa River. To assist those in need, the Mangatu Marae has opened its doors to locals who need to evacuate because of the rising river levels.
Weather Conditions Disrupt Transportation
Severe weather conditions are not only causing flood warnings and evacuations but also disruptions to local transportation. The Interislander ferry services have been cancelled due to expected wave heights of four to five meters. As per Bluebridge’s sailing schedule, afternoon bookings are available for Wednesday to Wellington, but no services are scheduled for Picton until Thursday.
Evacuation Recommendations Amidst Flood Warnings
The main points from this report include the flood warnings for the Waipaoa River and the Kanakanaia River as well as the resulting evacuation recommendations. Residents in low-lying areas are advised not to wait for official evacuations and should leave if they feel unsafe. Several evacuation centers, including the Mangatu Marae and Te Karaka Area School, are ready to accommodate evacuees.
Transportation Disruptions and Road Closures
It’s also important to note the transportation disruptions, with ferry services being cancelled and warnings for motorists to avoid certain areas. Several roads in the region are closed or restricted due to flooding and landslides. State Highway 35 around the cape from Gisborne to Ruatoria is now closed, as is the inland route SH2 between Ormond and Matawai. The closures are expected to be reviewed at first light on Friday.
Residents Urged to Remain Vigilant
The Tairāwhiti Civil Defence is continually monitoring the situation and working closely with the council and hydrologists. They urge residents to remain vigilant, stay up-to-date with weather warnings, and prepare for possible evacuation. As the situation progresses, more updates will be forthcoming to ensure the safety of all residents.
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