Cyclone Gabrielle Updates
Tararua District Council have activated the Incident Management Team in response to Cyclone Gabrielle. The team will be actively monitoring the situation and continue to keep you up to date.
The easiest way to report any damage is by using our Antenno App. However, if your query is urgent and occurs outside business hours. Please get in touch by calling. Our customer services teams will be available 24/7.
06 374 4080 (North) or 06 376 0110 (South)
Cyclone Gabrielle update #3 – Tararua now included in the National State of Emergency - 14 February 2.30pm
The Mayor declared a State of Emergency for the Tararua District at 08:49am today, 14 February 2023 under Section 68 of the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002 owing to coastal risk and severe flooding throughout the district. This State of Emergency will be in force for 24 hours but will be reviewed as required.
Later in the morning the Tararua District was incorporated into the National State of Emergency. This inclusion has been strongly supported by the Mayor. This is only the third time a National State of Emergency has been declared in our country.
During a District State of Emergency council would mostly be operating and coping with its own resources. The move to being part of the National State of Emergency provides additional resources and assistance, such as support from the New Zealand Defence Force should we require it.
This declaration will enable Central Government to support our district, provide additional resources as they are needed, and help set the priorities across the country for the response.
A National State of Emergency gives the National Controller legal authority to apply resources across the country, including the Tararua District.
The decision to become part of the National State of Emergency was not taken lightly, the current weather event is being hailed as a 1 in 50 year event and most of our rivers are the highest they have been since 2004 when Horizons Regional Council began monitoring our river levels. Indeed, the Waihi River, which is about 10 kilometres inland on SH52 previously had a record level of 4.2 metres. Today, that level reached 7.5 metres. River levels will continue to rise as we receive further rainfall.
Cyclone Gabrielle update #2 - 14 February 1.30pm
Mayor Tracey Collis declared a State of Emergency at 08:49am today, 14 February 2023 under Section 68 of the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002 owing to coastal risk and severe flooding throughout the district. The State of Emergency will be in force for 24 hours but will be reviewed as required.
Mayor Collis said; “Although the Tararua District was quieter than other districts overnight, we have been experiencing deteriorating weather from early today, as Cyclone Gabrielle moved in from the coast inland. This will keep up until at least 6pm tonight so we all need to be ready to act. This morning, our communities in Ākitio, Owahanga and Pongoroa have been cut-off. We remain in communication with the residents there keeping them informed and understanding their situation. We are supporting Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua who have set up a Civil Defence Centre in Dannevirke where anyone who is anxious or scared can come to for assistance and I encourage those in need to make their way there”.
CIVIL DEFENCE CENTRE
Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua have set up a Civil Defence Centre at the Dannevirke Sports Centre on Anderson Street. All residents who need someone to talk to or need comfort can go there. Food, warmth and shelter is available for those that need it or anyone who is unable to make it home.
Roads throughout the district are being affected with slips, flooding and tree obstructions. Road crews are doing their best to open these roads but conditions are becoming increasingly difficult to work in. We advise all residents to stay off the roads and only travel if it is essential and to stay home as much as possible. Ākitio and Pongaroa has been cut off due to flooding. Residents are advised to check the council road status on our website at www.tararuadc.govt.nz/services/roading/current-road-status before travelling on our roads.
RIVER LEVELS AND RAINFALL
Our rivers are all at higher flows with more rain falling. Rivers in Ākitio, Herbertville and Owahanga are likely to experience unprecedented levels over the course of the day and residents are advised to stay clear of all floodwaters, no matter how shallow or slow flowing it is. Residents in these areas are being advised to move to higher ground via Emergency Mobile Alert and our Antenno app. Residents who cannot move to higher ground, and who have no family or friends to go to, or residents who cannot return home should call council on 06 374 4080 (North) or 06 376 0110 (South) for further advice.
We are keeping a close eye on river levels across our district and anticipate further inland flooding. We will continue to update our Facebook page and website as necessary. Up-to-date information on river heights and rainfall is available via Horizons 24-hour, toll-free Waterline 0508 4 FLOOD (0508 435 663) or https://www.horizons.govt.nz/flood.../river-heights-rainfall
Council has initiated an Emergency Mobile text alert to residents who will be prone to flooding with detailed advice on where to go, what to take and what to look out for and this has been replicated on our Antenno app to those communities.
WATER AND WASTE WATER
Due to the rainfall and power cuts, the Dannevirke water and wastewater treatment plant is becoming overloaded.
To help minimise the strain to our wastewater treatment, Dannevirke residents are requested to refrain from flushing toilets as much as possible.
For those residents on tanked water, please take extra precautions due to the risks of poor water quality.
Powerlines across our district are taken care of by PowerCo and ScanPower and we encourage residents to report issues if there is imminent danger such as fallen powerlines by calling calling PowerCo on 0800 769 372 or ScanPower on 0800 80 80 39. Some communities are already experiencing power outages and the power companies are doing their best to restore power.
When there is danger to personal safety, residents are advised to call 111 if life or personal safety is at risk. This includes if there is a fire, if people are trapped by floodwater, slips or fallen trees that are creating immediate danger and people need to be evacuated. If there is no immediate emergency, please keep emergency lines free for those who need them.
For information on State Highways, including Saddle Road, Balance Road and Pahiatua Track, please visit the Waka Kotahi website and refer to their journey planner at www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz
School are opening or closing at their discretion and residents are advised to contact their local school or check their website for updates.
Residents can also stay up to date with announcements via the Ministry of Education’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EducationGovtNZ
STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED
Tararua District Council activated their Emergency Operations Centre on Monday 13 February. Today at 8.49am on Tuesday 14 February the Tararua District declared a state of emergency to manage the risk to human life resulting from rising rivers and road damage. Currently, several populations have been cut-off on the Coast, including Ākitio and Owahanga. A text message will be sent to mobile devices in area east of the Puketoi mountain range.
At this stage we are expecting the severity of the weather to decrease later in the day, however danger is still imminent with the concern for rising river levels, slips and flooding and the conditions of our roads.
In a civil defence emergency, we are your go-to place for information and updates. We will do our best to update our Facebook page and our website as updates become available.
Please be advised of the following updates:
There is significant risk on our roads with the risks of slips, slumps and washouts, as well as trees falling onto our roads throughout our roading network. We have seen this happen on several of our roads this morning and our teams have been working to clear roads. However, they are getting stuck themselves. Several communities have now been cut off as a result. As our teams work to reconnect these towns, it is becoming increasingly dangerous for them working in the current conditions. We are advising people to please stay off the roads. Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.
RUBBISH AND RECYCLING
Please only put your wheelie bins today if you are desperately needing rubbish collection today. Please ensure your bin clips are secured and bring bins back inside as soon as they have been serviced. Our contractors are doing their best to service our district in the weather.
RIVER HEIGHTS AND RAINFALL
We are keeping a close eye on river heights across our district. We will continue to update our Facebook page and website as necessary. Up-to-date information on river heights and rainfall is available via Horizons 24-hour, toll-free Waterline 0508 4 FLOOD (0508 435 663) or https://www.horizons.govt.nz/flood.../river-heights-rainfall
Powerlines across our district are taken care of by power co and scan power. If there is imminent danger such as fallen powerlines, please call power co on 0800 769 372 or ScanPower on 0800 80 80 39. Please be aware that due to the conditions of our roads, a lot of areas are hard to get to. At this stage, damages will be assed when areas are accessible, however please still continue to log any damages through the numbers provided.
Please call 111 if life or personal safety is at risk. This includes if there is a fire, if people are trapped by floodwater, slips or fallen trees that are creating immediate danger and people need to be evacuated. If there is no immediate emergency, please keep emergency lines free for those who need them.
For information on State Highways, including Saddle Road, Balance Road and Pahiatua Track, please visit the Waka Kotahi website.
Traffic map (nzta.govt.nz)
Please contact your local school or check their website for updates.
You can also stay up to date with announcements via the Ministry of Education’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EducationGovtNZ
Kia Kaha Tararua, Stay safe.
A key area of concern is our coastline. With swells expected to reach 6.9m, our Ākitio residents are of particular concern. A team has been on the ground in Ākitio speaking to residents and suggesting residents self-evacuate before tonight. We urge the public to avoid travelling to the area until the storm has passed.
Our Incident Management Team will be operating until the storm has passed. Please have a look on the civil defence website and prepare for the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle tonight.
We are urging the public to only travel if absolutely necessary between midnight Monday 13 February and 1pm Tuesday 14 February 2023. Drive to the conditions and be extremely cautious on the road.
Please remember to check the roading page on our website for up-to-date roading information.
We are expecting the brunt of Cyclone Gabrielle to hit us overnight tonight.
There are currently orange warnings issued for the Tararua District for strong winds and heavy rain between now and tomorrow afternoon.
To ensure your safety during this weather please remember to:
Use your bin clips when you put your bins kerbside and remember to bring them in ASAP once they have been serviced.
- Clear debris from drains and gutters where possible.
- Secure outdoor furniture and trampolines so they don't become a hazard in the wind.
- Check on elderly neighbours or people who may be particularly vulnerable in this weather.
- Stay safe on the road! Drive to the conditions. Try avoid travelling long distances in this weather.
- We will be keeping a close eye on the weather forecasts and continue to keep you updated. You can also see the most up to date forecast on the MetService website:
Stay safe Tararua. Kia Kaha Aotearoa.