Thursday, April 25, 2024

Auckland storm cleanup begins

Auckland Emergency Management says a mammoth clean up effort is underway following the impact of Auckland’s wettest day on record.

“Auckland Emergency Management and Auckland Council is getting a picture of the sheer scale of the impact after yesterday’s storm,” said Duty Controller, Andrew Clark.

Police and Fire and Emergency New Zealand responded to more than 2,000 call outs during the weather event, which included calls for help from people trapped in homes and cars as a result of the flooding.

“Landslips and flooding have closed multiple roads in the region, including sections of both routes north, SH1 and SH16.  Up to 265mm of rain fell in some areas,” Mr Clark said.

Civil Defence Centres are open in Kelston, Albany and Randwick Park, offering respite and support and community-led centres have opened up across the region and are being promoted locally. Around 70 people have visited the Civil Defence Centres since they opened yesterday.

A digger is partially submerged in a flooded construction site in the Wynyard Quarter after record heavy rain.

A civil defence emergency was declared yesterday and remains in place.

“We are encouraging people to stay safe, check in on whānau and friends and look after each other,” he said.

If you need help

·       To report flooding, damage to drains, or stormwater issues, please log your issue online at aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/report-problem.

·       If your life is at risk, phone 111.

·       If you need urgent accommodation assistance, phone us on 0800 22 22 00.

·       For welfare assistance you can phone the Ministry of Social Development on 0800 400 100.

If you were affected by the floods and need information, advice or support, you can contact the following service providers.

Civil Defence Centres (28 January2023)

Those who need to evacuate and cannot stay with friends or whānau can go to a Civil Defence Centre.

  • West: Leonards Road School, 15 Saint Leonards Road, Kelston
  • North: Massey University Albany Campus, Sir Neil Walters Lecture Theatre, Massey University East Precinct, Albany Expressway SH17
  • South: Mana Tukutuku, 32 Riverton Drive, Randwick Park

Bring with you any essential items you may need, e.g. medication, warm clothing, and baby items.

Financial assistance

If you have been directly affected by the Auckland floods and you are on a benefit or low income, call Work and Income on 0800 400 100.

Further information about support available from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) can be found on the Work and Income website www.workandincome.govt.nz.

If you have urgent needs as a result of being displaced by the flood, you can look for providers on www.familyservices.govt.nz.

Rubbish and waste

Any scheduled kerbside collections will continue unless a specific area is informed of cancellation.

Water

Watercare is providing regular updates of impacts to the water and wastewater network on its website.

Water from the tap is safe to drink.

Watercare is prioritising overflows that are damaging private property. Most of the clean-up activity will need to occur when the rain stops, as this is when the overflows will stop flowing.

Many beaches around the region have been impacted by wastewater overflows, and swimming is not advised. Check Safeswim for water quality information.

Rapid building assessments

Auckland Council’s building inspectors are on the ground conducting impact assessments across the region. This is to understand the scope and scale of any damage, and for us to prioritise rapid building assessments. This will take time.

Transport

Many roads have reopened but there is still damage and some closures around the region. Keep up to date with the latest travel advice by following Auckland Transport on Twitter @AT_TravelAlerts and by checking the Waka Kotahi website.

Civil Defence Centres

  • West: St. Leonards Road School, 15 Saint Leonards Road, Kelston
  • North: Massey University Albany Campus, Sir Neil Walters Lecture Theatre, Massey University East Precinct, Albany Expressway SH17
  • South: Mana Tukutuku, 32 Riverton Drive, Randwick Park

Bring with you any essential items you may need, e.g. medication, warm clothing, and baby items.

Cleaning up after a flood

It is important to clean and dry your house and everything in it. Floodwater may contain sewage and other hazardous materials which can contaminate your home.

  • If your gas meter has been affected by water or debris, contact your gas supplier.
  • Always work safely when cleaning up after a flood by wearing protective clothing and washing hands thoroughly after clean-up and before handling food.
  • Keep children and animals away from previously flooded areas until they have been cleaned and made safe.
  • Take photos and videos of the damage and anything that needs to be thrown away before starting the clean-up, for insurance purposes.
  • Clean up, drain, and dry inside as quickly as possible. Take out everything that is wet and that can be moved – floor coverings, furniture, bedding, clothing, etc., and put them outside to dry when the weather is fine.
  • Throw away all food and drinking water that has come in contact with floodwater, including things stored in containers.
  • Do not eat garden produce if the soil has been flooded. Clean up and remove debris and sprinkle gardens with lime (which can be purchased at garden centres).

Meanwhile, the MetService is warning of further rainfall for Auckland, although nothing is likely to match the severity of what has happened in the past 36 hours, the agency said. 

The MetService Red Heavy Rain Warning was lifted this morning and showers with the chance of thunderstorms are forecast for the remainder of the day (Saturday). There is a MetService Rain Watch in place for more rain on Sunday 29 January from 6am until midnight.

MetService meteorologist Angus Hines says, “The main rain band has moved off to the east of Auckland for the time being and there are a number of Orange Warnings and Watches in place around the North Island.  The main rain band returns to Auckland and Northland later on Sunday but rain will come and go for many areas in the North Island.”

While the upcoming rain should not match the intensity of what has been, impacts are expected to be severe and wide reaching, he said.

“More flooding will occur through many northern regions in the coming days, and people should stay abreast of the latest information from local emergency management, Civil Defence and metservice.com.”

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