17 Mar 2015

Cyclone Pam: East Coast cleans up

1:41 pm on 17 March 2015

East Coast residents allowed to return home are on clean up duty today after the remnants of Cyclone Pam hit the region.

What's left of a ravished camp site north of Gisborne.

A camp site on the East Coast following Cyclone Pam Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

About 100 people who had to leave their low-lying coastal properties yesterday during huge seas, heavy rain and galeforce winds, were allowed to return home last night.

About 20 residents from the small settlement of Anaura Bay were expected to be allowed to return to their homes this morning.

Civil Defence was doing an aerial survey of the region to check for any damage from the heavy seas, rain and wind Cyclone Pam brought to the east coast, this afternoon.

Fire service crew heading home north of Gisborne.

A fire truck driving along the East Coast following Cyclone Pam Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Gisborne Civil Defence emergency manager Richard Steele said residents and council authorities had big job ahead.

There was extensive tree damage and debris to be cleared, he said.

"I haven't heard anyone's homes being flooded but they were certainly talking about their garages."

About 150 houses were still without power on the East Coast and seven roads remained closed overnight.

The historical track of Cyclone Pam (red line) and its forecast track (blue line) with forecast positions marked as circled L’s in universal coordinated time.

The historical track of Cyclone Pam (red line) and its forecast track (blue line) with forecast positions marked as circled L’s in universal coordinated time. Photo: Metservice

Large seas generated by the ex-cyclone had hit parts of the East Coast this morning and fire crews spent the night protecting homes at Haumoana Beach in Hawke's Bay.

Hawke's Bay Civil Defence said large seas flooded some properties from Clifton to Clive at high tide early this morning.

It said there was extensive damage to the erosion-prone road into Clifton Motor Camp and there was some property damage along Clifton Road at Haumoana.

Civil Defence said large seas also washed over the embankment at Waimarama Domain flooding the surf club.

It said all immediate risks had now passed and everyone was safe.

Locals say during a bad storm the waves go over the top of this house in Haumoana

Locals say during a bad storm the waves go over the top of this house in Haumoana Photo: RNZ / Peter Fowler

Meanwhile, residents in the Chatham Islands were preparing for the remnants of Cyclone Pam.

The storm had brought large swells and severe gales to the islands today, and conditions were expected to deteriorate.

The aftermath on Tolaga Bay beach after Cyclone Pam passed through.

The aftermath of ex-Cyclone Pam on Tolaga Bay beach Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson