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Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence warns residents to prepare for heavy rain

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The Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (HB CDEM) is monitoring and preparing for potential impacts of the weather event that may bring heavy rain to the region.

MetService are forecasting a low to develop northeast of the North Island on Thursday where the weather system is expected to direct a south to southeast flow across central and northern New Zealand for a few days.

Group Controller Ian Macdonald said a MetService Orange Rain Warning remains in force for Hawke’s Bay and that HB CDEM had moved to a ‘Monitoring’ mode of operation on Wednesday morning due to the uncertainty of the weather situation.

“We’re urging residents in Hawke’s Bay to be prepared for heavy rain. I have spoken to MetService and their advice is that the situation is complex with a great deal of uncertainty, but heavy rain in Hawke’s Bay is possible, with the potential for continued rain and swells into the weekend,” Ian Macdonald said.

“With this in mind, we are monitoring the regional situation and preparing to coordinate an effective and efficient emergency response if required.

“This morning, we held a regional controllers and emergency services briefing and we will all be catching up again later this afternoon.  

“At the moment there are no significant impacts, and the forecast has reduced the expected rainfall over the next 24 hours. 

“Based on the latest advice from Hawke’s Bay Regional Council engineers, using current rainfall forecasts and modelling, we are expecting around an annual (one-in-one year) weather event from Napier to Wairoa areas. 

“All of the major rivers are in good condition with river mouths open, and all councils in the region have put Business Continuity Planning (BCP) measures in place, including checking and preparing stormwater systems and drainage pumps, and informing vulnerable communities. 

“Councils in the impact areas have put staff on standby for their Incident Management Teams”. 

“At this stage we’re not anticipating the need to activate the Group Emergency Coordination Centre or the need for significant evacuations,” Ian Macdonald said.

Ian Macdonald said he had spoken to the emergency manager in Tairāwhiti, where a state of emergency had been declared earlier this morning.

“We are looking at how we can support them into next week, assuming we do not have significant issues here ourselves and we can maintain our capability with continuing impacts from COVID and our support to that response.

“While the rain is not significant now, we need to be aware that there is still a few days of rain forecast and, given the level of uncertainty, things can change quickly.

“We’re urging people in the region to be prepared should the weather escalate.

“Heavy rain can cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly.  Surface flooding and slips are also possible.

“If you’re concerned about any surface ponding then please contact your local council.

“Driving conditions may be hazardous, so please drive to the conditions.

“This might be a good weekend to stay in and catch up on those movies or TV shows you’ve been recommended.

“Everyone in Hawke’s Bay should keep up-to-date with the forecast and conditions over the next few days,” Ian Macdonald said.
 
People are advised to stay up-to-date with forecasts at MetService, and check for updates on the HBCDEM Facebook page and website.

 

23 March 2022

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