: Bursts of heavy rain in the eastern Bay of Plenty’s causing extensive flooding, slips and road closures.
MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Rotorua, Taupo, Gisborne, and Hawke’s Bay.
The Whakatane District Council says a slip at West End in Ohope has brought a large tree down on an unoccupied house.
It’s warning those living in landslide-prone areas to keep an eye on cliff faces and leave their homes if they feel the ground isn’t stable.
It also says any silt or pooled water left after flooding’s subsided should be treated as potentially contaminated by sewage overflows.
Within the last 24 hours, the Fire Service has received over 90 callouts in Whakatane and Ohope, there’s been flash flooding in Kawerau and a slip’s caused a tree to fall on a house in Ohope.
Authorities are flat out clearing stormwater drains in preparation for the next deluge.
Main routes, including Hillcrest and Valley Roads, are closed.
Eastern Bay of Plenty residents have their heads above water dealing with slips and flooding.
Yet it may only be a matter of hours before there’re more downpours, as MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch.
Whakatane’s Civil Defence controller, Julian Reweti, says a break in the rain has seen stormwater recede this afternoon.
He says those living near cliff faces should still be weary of the fact the ground’s wet, so more slips are possible.
“It is pretty slippery out there. There’s quite a lot of debris on roads, so just basic cautionary approaches to driving.”
Mr Reweti says there’s a lot of clean-up work to be done.
– Image / NZ Herald