With over half of Central Hawke’s Bay residents soon needing to boil their drinking water and further rain and wind forecast in the next 24 hours, Central Hawke’s Bay District Councils Emergency Operations Centre is urging people to act with caution and keep up to date with rapidly changing updates.
Central Hawke’s Bay has experienced severe flooding since early Thursday morning this week. With river levels already reaching one-in-50-year flood levels, a further 100mm of rain is forecast over the next 24 hours and strong winds are expected to make driving conditions worse, with fallen trees particularly in coastal areas.
Residents in Waipawa and Otane are also being asked to conserve water, with a boil water notice currently in place for Waipukurau, which is likely to be extended to Waipawa and Otane in the coming hours, as the river water quality continues to deteriorate. Residents are also encouraged to not ‘rush to flush’ in Otane, Waipawa and Waipukurau as wastewater plants become overwhelmed with flood waters.
“People need to be prepared and take the warnings seriously”, says Mayor Alex Walker. “Staying up to date with the latest information is the best thing people can do”.
“Things are rapidly changing, and we urge people to follow our Facebook page, website and listen to CentralFM for the latest updates”.
With a boil water notice in place currently for Waipukurau, free potable water is available for residents at Russell Park in Waipukurau.
Residents are encouraged to stay away from flood waters due to potential contamination and to take notice of road closure signs, with damage likely to the road and bridge structures in rural areas unknown until flood water recedes.
“We’ve already seen the loss of the Tarewa Bridge as part of the Tukituki trails from this weather event, and we can expect to find more damage and resulting clean-up work, particularly in our rural areas as flood waters recede”, says Mayor Alex Walker.
“We are a strong and connected community and I encourage people to continue looking out for each other and our neighbour in the way we’re known for”.