Emergency Operations Centre winding down

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29/04/2018 1:50:00 p.m.

30 April 2018

10:50am

We are now in post-flood recovery mode

Have you been affected by flooding and require assistance?

Please call Rotorua Lakes Council on 07-3484 199

Your details will be taken and a recovery officer will contact you to discuss your needs.

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29 April 2018

10.30pm

Emergency Operations Centre winding down for the night

Reports from emergency services on site in Ngongotaha have confirmed water levels in the Ngongotaha Stream are now receding.

Crews from Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the Police continued to talk to residents in the area and assess whether further evacuations are needed but have now finished operations for the evening.

Cordons are still in place at either end of Western Road and people who have already been evacuated are being advised to stay away until further checks can be carried out at their properties.

Security has been organised for these areas.

The Emergency Welfare Centre saw a small number of the people throughout the evening, most of which were picked up by friends or family or were moved on to temporary accommodation for the night.

Acting Civil Defence Primary Controller Bruce Horne said that the small number highlighted that most of those affected were well prepared and able to self-evacuate themselves.

“Our top priority was ensuring the safety of the public and of the first responders on the ground.

“We were geared up and ready for people at the Emergency Welfare Centre but most people were able to organise their own transportation and accommodation which shows they were resilient in a terrible situation,” he said.

Civil Defence staff are on standby for the evening however if people need assistance they should call Council’s Customer Centre on its 24 hour number 07 348 4199.

There are a number of road closures in place which have affected access to residents homes. Roading crews will be back to reassess and start work to remove the debris at first light.

Roads Closed:

  • Rerewhakaaitu Rd – a manned closure at Brett Rd and Ashpit/Yankee intersection due to bridge damage;
  • Paradise Valley/Valley roads – manned closure near Agrodome and at Te Miri Rd due to extensive flooding and slips;
  • Endean Rd - closed due to three large slips;
  • Waikaukau Rd from Whirinaki Valley Rd - closed for approx 1km due to flooding;
  • Western Rd - closed due to extensive flooding;
  • Elizabeth St - closed between King and Phillip streets due to contaminated floodwaters.

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6pm

State of Emergency declared for Ngongotaha

At 5.30pm this evening at the advice of Fire and Emergency New Zealand Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick declared a State of Emergency localised to Ngongotaha.

Evacuations have been taking place since about 3.30pm and residents are being moved to the Emergency Welfare Centre in town at the Energy Events Centre.

With the severity of the situation escalating with more heavy rain expected before midnight tonight and the light rapidly fading Mayor Chadwick made the decision on the advice of emergency services and the acting Civil Defence Primary Controller.

“At the advice of the acting controller and Fire and Emergency New Zealand that evacuations are essential for public safety I duly declared a localised State of Emergency for Ngongotaha,” said Mayor Chadwick.

“I urge those in Ngongotaha affected by floods to go with emergency services who will ensure their safe passage to the emergency welfare centre at the Energy Events Centre where they will receive the support they need.”

Currently flooding has been reported at some properties along Western Road where the river has breached its banks.

Other roads affected are Oakland, Streamdale, Brookdale and Pioneer roads.

Emergency services are in the area evacuating residents using four wheeled drive vehicles and the Rotorua Duck Tours buses.

What you need to know if you are evacuating:

  • Stay in your homes until someone is able to get to you. If you need urgent help contact Council on 07 348 4199 as soon as possible.
  • Be prepared – have a small bag with essential items ready to go. This includes any medication or identification that you may need.
  • Animal Control is ready at the emergency welfare centre ready to assess and animals that also need evacuating
  • Evacuation is for your own safety – please comply with instructions from emergency service officers.

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Following another heavy period of rain the Ngongotaha stream has burst its banks in some places and water is now entering at least 30 properties along Western Road.

There is also a number of people at the Agrodrome who have been blocked in by the high water.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) is on site and is leading a coordination effort to evacuate residents from this area.

Council’s Civil Defence teams are supporting FENZ and transport for the residents is being organised with Rotorua Duck Tours and a number of buses to ferry them from Ngongotaha to the emergency welfare centre at the Energy Events Centre to see what support is needed and moved to temporary accommodation for the evening.

If you are need help or if you are unsure what to do call Council’s Customer Centre on 07 348 4199.

If you need to evacuate:

Fire and Emergency New Zealand officers will be evacuating residents from their homes on Western Road. If you need to be evacuated:

  • Stay in your homes until someone is able to get to you. If you need urgent help contact Council on 07 348 4199 as soon as possible.

  • Be prepared – have a small bag with essential items ready to go. This includes any medication or identification that you may need.

  • Animal Control is ready at the emergency welfare centre ready to assess and animals that also need evacuating

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Rotorua Lakes Council’s Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and Civil Defence teams have been mobilised.

We’ve had more than 100mm of rain in the past 24 hours and are expecting rain to continue for the rest of today and until about midnight with a severe rain warning and a severe thunderstorm watch in place for Rotorua.

There has been widespread surface flooding throughout the city and elsewhere in the district with some trees down, slips on several roads and water flooding properties and entering some homes and garages. Stormwater covers have popped up in some places and residents have been urged to drive only if absolutely necessary and if it is necessary to take extra care, drive slowly and be on high alert.

Meanwhile, the amount of rain that has come down has overwhelmed the sewerage system and some pump stations and the wastewater treatment plant is unable to cope with the volume of water trying to enter. This has caused overflowing and diluted sewage to overflow the system, which means there is contaminated wastewater entering the stream and lake.

As a precaution any surface water should be treated as contaminated.

Toi Te Ora Public Health and Bay of Plenty Regional Council have been notified.

An emergency welfare centre has been opened at the Energy Events Centre and emergency accommodation is ready for residents displaced by flooding at their homes.

Crews from Infracore, Fulton Hogan and Fire and Emergency New Zealand have attended more than 60 flooding issues and are prioritising where there is a danger to people and their properties.  

Click HERE for the latest list of flooding and road closures

We want to remind people to report any issues to Council straight away on 07 348 4199.  

Key messages to pass on to your networks:

  • Stay off the road unless absolutely necessary. As well as flooding there are multiple dangers on the roads and there are multiple road closures and diversions in place
  • If you feel your house is in danger of flooding self-evacuate to a neighbour’s house or a friend or family member’s house or the Energy Events Centre behind the Rotorua Museum. Call Council on 07 348 4199 if you need help or feel you can’t do this yourself.
  • There is high potential for sewage in flood water – stay away from these areas.  
  •  Stay away from any open water as levels can rise extremely fast
  • Check on your neighbours
  • If you see a blocked drain try to remove the debris as long as you can do so safely – it is advisable to do this in a period when the rain has eased or stopped.
  • For residents who get their drinking water from bores or intakes from rivers or streams take precaution. We suggest to boil water or use bottled water
  • To reduce the pressure on our Wastewater system cut down on showers, clothes washing and flushing the toilet.

Health precautions:

  • There are multiple sewage overflows across the district
  • If you have an issue with an overflowing toilet follow these steps:
    - Shut the toilet lid
    - Clean mess as soon as possible using a suitable disinfectant and following the
       instructions on the container/bottle
    - Call Council and your insurance company
     
  • Stay away from overflowing gully traps – especially keep children away from these areas.
  • If you do need to handle sewage clean hands and clothes thoroughly afterward

 

Page reviewed: 29 Apr 2018 1:50pm