This afternoon, the New Zealand Defence Force sent 23 more soldiers to Edgecumbe, to help man the cordon which was engulfed by floodwater after yesterday's downpour.
The Army Reservists, backed by two trucks and two other vehicles, were dispatched after a request from the Whakatāne Emergency Operations Centre said Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy, Acting Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.
“Their main tasks are to assist police in maintaining the cordons and checkpoints around the areas that have been evacuated, to ensure the safety of people and property,” said Air Commodore McEvoy.
On Thursday, two members of the NZDF were sent to Edgecumbe to assist fire service staff to ensure residents in flooded areas had evacuated.
Earlier this week, 50 NZDF staff were sent to Whanganui and Rangitīkei to help evacuate residents, fill sandbags, check on residents in flooded areas. They also helped man cordons after the councils declared local states of emergency.