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Rain closes roads & schools in Rotorua

Wet weather has caused roads to close, a serious crash, power outages and at least one Rotorua school to close. 

A passenger in a car that struck a power pole on Te Ngae Rd this morning has suffered serious injuries. 

Police said earlier reports were a single car had struck a power pole just before 10am, bringing three power poles down outside Placemakers, between Sala St and Hamiora Pl.

The driver was initially trapped.

All occupants are now out of the vehicle, however one rear-seat passenger is reported to have suffered serious injuries and has been taken to hospital.

Contractors had isolated power at the scene.

There is widespread flooding in the area and police said this may have contributed to the crash and urged motorists to take extra care and drive to the conditions.

Unison advised it was working on a power outage covering parts of Ngapuna, Lynmore, Okareka and Tarawera and hoped to have supply resumed early afternoon.

Rotorua District Council had activated its emergency operations centre at the council Civic Centre to monitor weather events, although no Civil Defence emergency has been declared.

Rotorua schools were being asked by the police to keep children at school and not send students home early in order to reduce congestion on roads.

Other developments: 

* A substantial number of urban and rural roads have been closed or restricted.

* The council is asking residents to stay off roads until the weather improves unless travel is essential. If residents do need to travel they should exercise extreme care at all times.

* As a result of some sewer overflows people should treat any flood water as potentially contaminated, and in particular ensure that children are kept clear of all flooded areas.

State Highway 36 from Tauranga to Ngongotaha is closed at Awahou. The New Zealand Transport Agency’s website said there was a detour in place via Hamurana Rd and State Highway 33 and State Highway 30, past the Rotorua Airport. 

Rotorua weatherman Brian Holden said there was “quite a downpour” overnight.

“Up until 8am we have had 67.5mm in the last 24 hours, with most of that being overnight, which has doubled our rainfall for the month . . . and it’s still bucketing down.

– NZ Herald


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