Central Hawke’s Bay District Council declared a state of local emergency this morning at 7.30am in response to the severe effects of flooding to its coastal communities.
The immediate concern is for welfare of those isolated at the coast. Civil Defence staff located in Waipawa are coordinating the local response with support from regional and national civil defence agencies.
With the exception of Porangahau, all coastal communities are totally isolated with no power and limited phone communications. Contact has been established with all beach communities, except Kairakau, and initial word is that people are OK, but that properties are extremely wet. There has been extensive road damage, the inundation of properties by water, mud and silt, and many trees are down. There has also been significant coastal erosion of the foreshore and dunes at Pourerere, with many major and minor slips throughout the district.
Road crews and Centralines staff are currently assessing the extent of damage to roading and electricity supply from the air, in conjunction with Central Hawke’s Bay District Mayor Peter Butler, Police and Civil Defence senior staff.
With this assessment made, staff will assist and evacuate people according to priorities identified by the assessment visits.
A welfare centre has been set up in Waipukurau, in the Memorial Hall at Russell Park. Red Cross are assisting with that, as well as local welfare staff.
People with any concerns can contact Council on 06 857 8060.