Public warned to stay away from rivers and floodwaters
Heavy overnight rain has eased in Tauranga this morning, but with more rain forecast to coincide with this afternoon’s high tide, people are urged to stay away from rivers and floodwaters.
Tauranga City Council Civil Defence Controller Sam Fellows says floods and flashfloods can happen quickly and without warning.
“Please stay away from any area that is flooded, as rain eases it can look harmless, but it’s not. Currents can be very unpredictable. Floodwaters may also be contaminated with sewerage, bacteria and chemical runoff, so we’re asking people to stay away from rivers and floodwaters for their safety.”
He advises motorists to avoid unnecessary travel, driving through flooded areas or attempting to cross river fords or water covered roads. He also advises not to go sightseeing in your car – your presence may hamper emergency work.
Large slip in Maungatapu
Residents who were evacuated from 24 Tauranga homes overnight due to a large slip on Egret Avenue, Maungatapu, are staying with friends and family while damage is assessed today.
One house has suffered severe damage and two others have been significantly impacted. Police have confirmed no one was seriously injured.
Tauranga City Council building inspectors and Geotech engineers are currently onsite evaluating the damage and assessing the safety of the area.
“Our thoughts are with all those affected and the residents who have been evacuated from their homes. Though the rain has eased we’re not out of the woods yet and I want to reiterate the message to please stay away from any flooded areas. The water may look calm, but those conditions can change really quickly, with devasting consequences. Thank you to all those working to keep our communities safe,” says Tauranga City Commission Chair Anne Tolley.
In the first instance, affected residents should contact their insurance companies and check policies for emergency accommodation cover, as residents will need to pay or make arrangements with their insurers for payment for short term accommodation. If your property is a rental, contact your property manager or landlord.
Contact the Ministry of Social Development on 0800 559 009 or through their website: www.workandincome.govt.nz.
For support with anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For any other welfare advice and support requests associated with this weather event please call TCC’s call centre staff on 07 5777 000.
Local slips, floods and road closures
- Due to surface flooding, McLaren Falls Park is closed until further notice, as is the Historic Village.
- Contractors are currently onsite clearing a slip on Welcome Bay Road in between Waitaha Road and James Cook Lane. Traffic management is on site.
- A slip on Pukemapu Road at the Oropi Road intersection has been cleared. Traffic management is in place.
- Oropi Road, near the golf course, is now open after being closed overnight due to flooding.
- The intersection of Welcome Bay Road and Waitoa Road is now open, following an overnight closure due to flooding.
- State highway 29 at Lower Kaimai is also closed after multiple slips.The highway connects Tauranga to the Waikato over the Kaimai Ranges. Waka Kotahi is asking travellers to avoid the area or delay a journey.
- Slips and fallen trees have been cleared on local walkways. Taipari Street to Fantail Drive walkway has been closed as a precaution due to the slips at Egret Ave. Mauao Base track is being monitored closely.
Please contact Tauranga City Council on 07 577 7000 to report flooding, slips or other weather-related issues in your area. In an emergency dial 111.
To stay updated
Follow Bay of Plenty Civil Defence and MetService New Zealand for the latest weather and emergency updates
For updates on State Highways go to Waka Kotahi
For updates on local roads go to the Tauranga City Council website and Western Bay of Plenty District Council