22 Jun 2015

North Island flooding - what you need to know

11:45 am on 22 June 2015

Flooding has closed a number of roads in the lower North Island, while power is out in some areas and some houses are without water.

Cars on State Highway 3 waiting to get into Whanganui.

Cars on State Highway 3 waiting to get into Whanganui. Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

Evacuations

Map of flooded areas in Whanganui.

Cordoned off area of Whanganui. Photo: Wanganui District Council

The Wanganui District Council said on Sunday night that 244 people had been through a welfare centre at St Paul's Community Centre since it opened on Saturday morning.

The centre reopens at 8am today. The council said anyone with welfare needs could call 06 349 0001 around the clock.

Twenty homes in Feilding have been evacuated on Queen Street. If people need to leave their properties they are advised to go to the welfare centre on Bowen Street.

A civil defence emergency has been declared in the Whanganui, Taranaki, and Rangitikei districts.

Councils in Horowhenua, Manawatu, Whanganui and Taranaki have activated their emergency management centres, including evacuation facilities.

Police are patrolling the Whanganui East area and cordons are in place Anzac Parade

Schools

At least half a dozen schools are closed today, though some are encouraging students to go along - if possible - with their gumboots to help clean up.

Power cuts

About 650 properties in Wanganui are still without electricity and about 50 are still cut off in Taranaki.

Powerco says some properties are isolated by road washouts, slips and fallen trees and it may be days before the way is clear to get in and restore supply.

Sewage contamination and water issues

Marton residents are being urged to conserve water because of a fault at the town's treatment plant.

Rangitikei District Council says the plant is unable to treat any water at the moment and it is asking people to use water for essential purposes only.

In Hunterville, residents are being asked to boil water because of problems with water quality.

In Palmerston North restrictions on water use introduced to cope with wastewater issues have been lifted. The council said everyone should treat items that have been submerged by flood waters as contaminated.

Whanganui residents have been issued with a similar warning following the reporting of sewage and stormwater spills. People are still being asked to conserve water, as although power has been restored to the Kai Iwi bores which supply the city, reservoirs were now refilling.

The New Plymouth District Council said the sewerage system had been overwhelmed and it has shut down many sewage pumping stations in Waitara, Bell Block and New Plymouth.

As a result, raw sewage is being discharged to the sea from the Eliot St outfall in New Plymouth CBD and from the Waitara outfall, and is also being discharged to the Mangati Stream at Bell Block.

People are being advised to stay away from beaches, rivers and streams.

Road disruptions - State Highways

State Highway 56 at Opiki is closed and a detour is in place.

SH 4 Raetihi To Wanganui and SH43 Stratford To Taumarunui are closed due to slips or flooding.

SH1 is fully open after flooding closed it at the Waikawa River Bridge, between Levin and Otaki, but motorists are advised to take care. It was also closed from Kimberley Road to Hokio Beach Road, in Levin, but had reopened with a 30kmh speed restriction.

SH3 between Whanganui and New Plymouth and between Bulls and Whanganui has also been reopened but caution is still required.

Work is continuing on a number of small slips on SH3 in the Manawatu Gorge, which is likely to remain closed for a few days.

The Pahiatua Track also remains closed but the Saddle Road is open, with efforts to restore access for heavy vehicles.

The Transport Agency said motorists needed to be aware of debris, slips, flooding, one lane restrictions and potholes which were widespread.

Power outages

About 650 Whanganui homes remain without power, and 50 Taranaki homes.

Whanganui road closures as at 5.30am Monday

Urban road closures

Taupo Quay - between Bates Street and St Hill Street

Drews Avenue and Market Place - between Rutland Street and Taupo Quay

Peat Street by substation

Peat Park/London Street

Halswell Street

Alexander Street

Ikitara Road

Quick Avenue

Georgetti Road (open to residents only)

Shakespeare Road

Roberts Avenue

Lucknow Street

Mt View Road

Virginia Road

Rural road closures

State Highway 4 Kaimatira to Raetihi

Kaukatea Valley Road

No 3 Line Wakefield Street to Kaimatira Road

Waikupa Road

Whanganui River Road

Kaurapaoa Road

Kaikokopu Road

Mangamahu Road

Kaimatira Road

Matarawa Valley Road

Okoia Road

Parihauhau Road

Ahu Ahu Valley Road

Rapanui Road

Kaukatea Valley Road

Papaiti Road closed (near 547)

Pipiriki Road

Smith Road

Polson Road

Tokomaru East Road

Tokomaru West Road

Koatanui Road

Rangitatau East Road

Watershed Road

Waipapa Road

Raupiu Road

Junction Road

Bruce Road

Creek Road

Mangawhero Road

Otamoa Road

Siceleys Road

Whanganui walkways closed

City Bridge to Georgetti Road

St John's Hill cycleway

For more information in your area please check the following sites:

Manawatu District Council

Kapiti Coast District Council

District Council

Manawatu Whanganui Regional Council

The Transport Authority

Civil Defence also said people should stay tuned to their radios and monitor the Civil Defence websites for updates.