Sunday, May 19, 2024

Agencies brace for Ex-Tropical Cyclone Fili

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, and Wairoa District Council are working with the region’s other councils ahead of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Fili, which is expected to hit the region later tonight.

The three agencies say they are monitoring the situation, while Wairoa District Council will be working on the ground with the community to get through the expected rainfall.

Regional Council Group Manager Asset Management, Chris Dolley said heavy rain was expected to hit the region on Tuesday night, particularly in the north of Hawke’s Bay.

“The updated forecast from Metservice has Wairoa now in a Red Heavy Rain Warning. The rest of Hawke’s Bay remains in Orange Heavy Rain Warning, and the whole region is now under a Strong Wind Warning,” Mr Dolley said.

“This weather event will come in this evening and ramp up through Wednesday morning. We’ll likely see rain all day Wednesday combined with a significant wind warning. As the rainfall works through the land and waterways, we don’t expect river levels to peak until Wednesday night.”

He said rain and river flood modelling shows that northern Hawke’s Bay may receive about 6 hours of 20-40mm of rain per hour on Wednesday, with more moderate levels of rain due to fall in Napier and Hastings, across the Heretaunga Plains and in Central Hawke’s Bay.

“The river management teams have checked flood protection infrastructure to ensure it is ready for this event. We’ve also got staff rostered to monitor and respond as needed, noting that the rain will also be accompanied by gales, large waves and coastal inundation to parts of the region from late Tuesday to Thursday,” Mr Dolley said.

Wairoa District Council Mayor, Craig Little said the area was in for another surge of wet and wild weather, while still in the early stages of recovering from last month’s prolonged rainfall.

“Because our community is still recovering from the rainfall in March, this burst of further significant rain will cause additional slips and worsen damage to already saturated land,” says Mayor Little.

“We’re urging our community to be prepared for heavy rain and wind, and we will be working on the ground to support our community, depending on needs.”

Group Controller, Ian Macdonald said the Hawke’s Bay CDEM had activated the Group Emergency Coordination Centre in Hastings in preparation for the event.

“While our focus is on northern Hawke’s Bay and Wairoa, it doesn’t mean the rest of the region won’t be impacted. We’re coordinating across the region with councils, emergency services and partner agencies and ready to step up our emergency response if required,” he said.

“If you’re in Wairoa and live close to waterways or steep slopes, then you should be prepared to evacuate. This is particularly going to impact the rural areas, so we’re encouraging farmers to move stock and equipment to high ground.

“Everyone should watch out for updates as the weather progresses and be prepared to move or seek help if they feel at risk.”

Stay up-to-date with forecasts at MetService, and check for updates on the HBCDEM Facebook page and website.

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