More Edgecumbe residents are set to return home this morning. This includes homes in north Edgecumbe - College Road north of Rata Ave, with the access point being from West Bank Road.
Yesterday residents with properties in the south-eastern section of Edgecumbe – Hydro Road, Nikau Place, Miro Place and Konini Place – started reoccupying their properties. Some 46 properties were involved and all have an available water supply, but still have limited wastewater services at this time.
Areas south of State Highway 2 at Edgecumbe will be assessed today to see if any are safe to return to.
Whakatāne District Council says they aim to reopen further areas of Edgecumbe that have not been subject to flooding in the coming days as soon as water supplies have been restored and areas have been declared safe by health authorities.
More heavy rain is forecast in coming days, but the council believes if there is a need for further evacuations, they'll have plenty of warning. Residents will be alerted by fire station sirens sounding continuously and by emergency services vehicles driving round with sirens on.
The Urban Search and Rescue task force has been doing rapid damage assessments of properties south of state highway 2. Building inspectors will start doing full checks in this area and through the rest of Edgecumbe tomorrow that has not already been cleared or is looking OK. That will help determine whether the homes can be lived in again.
The council says they're making a change to where people can register for assisted access to their properties that can’t yet be lived in but are OK to access.
There’ll now be a single registration centre the Awakeri Event Centre on state highway 30. It’ll be open from 8am each day.
Police are re-iterating that access isn’t intended to be for multiple visits. People are asked to get essentials on one trip rather than request to keep going back.
Flood affected residents whose homes are damaged who have not yet registered their details with the Whakatāne District Council are urged to call its free phone number, 0800 306 0500.
Those people who are staying in motels and other temporary accommodation who have been asked to vacate in the coming days should contact 0800 306 0500 and give full details of their situation to our customer service staff.
Evacuees who have registered with the district council because they have indicated they have accommodation needs will be contacted as soon as possible. If your need is urgent call 07 306 2013 extension 7327.
If evacuees haven’t registered already, Whakatāne District Council encourages all evacuees in the region to register online at www.whakatane.govt.nz