State of Local Emergency Declared – Cyclone Gabrielle

State of Local Emergency Declared – Weather Event Update

Tēnā koutou,

Please see below weather update issued by Whakatāne District Council in regards to the current weather events:

At 3pm today, Acting Mayor Lesley Immink declared a local state of emergency for the Whakatāne District.  The declaration provides additional Emergency Management powers to the local Controller and enables the Emergency Operations response to call on support from outside the district if required.

Emergency Management powers allow the Controller to call for mandatory evacuation of specified areas, with the help of Police.

The mandatory evacuation order applies to:

  • all homes in West End Ōhope, up to and including Beach Point Apartment complex
  • Approx. 9 homes identified on Harbour Road, Port Ōhope that are particularly low-lying
  • These residents will be contacted directly and ultimately door-knocked by Police if other methods of contacts have not been successful.

The strong recommendation to consider self-evacuation continues for all other parts of Ōhope and Port Ōhope that are exposed to storm surge.

A dedicated Emergency Evacuation Centre has been set up at Whakatāne War Memorial Hall and opened at 12noon today for those who must, or choose to evacuate, and do not have family or friends to go to.

A cone road block will be in place to West End and managed by Police from late afternoon.  Those who must evacuate from West End (and the nine homes on Harbour Road) will have until 7pm to leave.  The mandatory evacuation will be in place until 3pm Tuesday.  Re-entry will be reassessed tomorrow after high tide at 1.35pm. Police will maintain the cordon at West End overnight and carry out reassurance patrols around the pocket of homes on Harbour Road.

Ōpōtiki District declared a State of Emergency earlier this morning, primarily to have the power to evacuate some areas of the Coast.

Bay of Plenty Floodroom update:

Anticipated warnings for major rivers remain the same as previously reported.  The major concern remains coastal storm surge intensified by the very low pressure system.

Whakatāne River anticipated to reach first and second warning levels Tuesday afternoon/Wednesday morning.

Rangitāiki River – potential for controlled spilling from Matahina Dam Tuesday morning/afternoon.

The next Floodroom situation report is due at 12.30pm tomorrow (14 February).

The EOC is operating 12 hour shifts, with smaller team on duty from 8pm to 8am to respond to anything that may arise. We can anticipate slips and roading impacts with the rain and winds forecast.

Our public information continues to be updated on Facebook and our Council webpage.

Current MetService Forecast:

Heavy Rain Warning for Bay Of Plenty, Rotorua – Orange

Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.

Issued: 10:15am Monday, 13th February 2023 Area: Bay of Plenty west of Whakatane Valid: 10:00am Monday to 6:00am Tuesday Expect 100 to 180 mm of rain to accumulate. Peak rates of 10 to 15 mm/h, but 20 to 30 mm/h possible this afternoon and evening.

Strong Wind Warning for Bay Of Plenty, Rotorua – Orange

Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.

Issued: 10:15am Monday, 13th February 2023 Area: Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Taupo, Taihape, Bay of Plenty, and Gisborne Valid: 10:00am Monday to 9:00am Tuesday Southeast winds, severe gale gusting 120 km/h to 130 km/h in exposed places.

Heavy Rain Watch for Bay Of Plenty

Issued: 10:15am Monday, 13th February 2023 Area: Bay of Plenty from Whakatane eastwards and eastern ranges of Taupo Valid: 10:00am Monday to 6:00am Tuesday Periods of heavy easterly rain. Rainfall accumulations may approach warning criteria.