More rain predicted for flood-stricken Tairāwhiti

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

The government has stepped in to offer recovery assistance support to the East Coast in the wake of the second storm in a week to hit the area, which has caused more flooding, closing schools and roads.

"From what I understand there are six roads closed, bridges are damaged there are almost thirty bridges in the Tairāwhiti, some are closed and some school children have been able to attend," says Meng Foon, mayor of Gisborne.

Te Karaka is shut off due to road closures, with locals urged not to flush their toilets, while across the region power is being restored to around 800 homes, with arborists working around the clock to clear trees from power lines.

"This morning when it happened it would've been very dangerous because the power lines would've been live when they came down so it would've been a pretty good fireworks show for a couple of minutes," says Joel Houthuijzen of Arborists Advanced Tree Solutions.

The government has classed the storm as a medium scale event and will provide assistance to the rural community.

"Which means all those back home in Gisborne, Gisborne District Council, farmers, the community around Tolaga Bay particularly, now know the government is going to step in behind and support them in the recovery once the weather clears," says Meka Whaitiri, Associate Minister of Agriculture.

Though the rain had eased this afternoon, there is more heavy rain forecast for this evening.