Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Aucklanders urged to play it safe tonight

Auckland remains in a State of Local Emergency tonight after a day of heavy rain that has seen widespread flooding across the region.

Auckland Emergency Management Duty Controller, Parul Sood says emergency services coped well with the day’s events.

“Fire and Emergency New Zealand reported around 280 flooding-related callouts. By 6pm this evening, just five of those remained active. Police reported more than 250 weather-related jobs between midday and 4.30pm,” said Ms Sood.

Auckland Mayor, Wayne Brown signed the State of Emergency declaration around midday today. It means that Auckland Emergency Management and emergency services have additional powers in place in the event they’re needed.

“A State of Local Emergency does not mean that schools are closed while the declaration is in place,” says Ms Sood.

“If any individual schools need to close due to flooding or damage to buildings, they will contact parents directly.”

The Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued by MetService this afternoon has been lifted across the Auckland region. Thunderstorm Warnings remain in place for Aotea Great Barrier Island.  

The Auckland region remains under an Orange Heavy Rain Warning until midnight tonight (9 May). Periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms are still possible. Find out more on the MetService website

“It is important to remember that even as the weather improves, not all streams and rivers have reached their peak. It can take time for the rain that has fallen in the hills to make its way down stream.”

“Therefore, some waterways may still be rising even though the rain has eased. Any more heavy rain could cause surface and/or flash flooding around streams, gullies, and urban areas,” says Ms Sood.

“Please remember to keep away from waterways and flood waters. Please visit the MetService website for the most up to date weather information.”

Meanwhile, Auckland Transport Group Manager Metro Services, Darek Koper says caution is required when travelling this evening.  

“Aucklanders who do need to travel this evening are being urged to be extra careful while the effects of today’s heavy rain continue to be felt across the city,” he said.

“Train services have now resumed on the Southern and Western Lines, with services running at lower speeds until further clearance is received from KiwiRail. Services on the Onehunga Line remain suspended and alternative transport options are in place between Penrose and Onehunga.

“On our bus network we are still seeing some delays and higher numbers of cancellations as a result of the disruptions earlier today.

“Services on the Northern Busway will have detours in place from 9pm until 5am tomorrow so that repair work can be completed on a damaged section of road surface between Akoranga and Smales Farm stations.

“Ferry services are also continuing to be affected by today’s weather conditions, with several cancellations now in place for services tonight,” says Mr Koper.

He said travel conditions should begin returning to normal tomorrow.

“With the forecast looking much better tomorrow, we expect that the road and public transport network will be operating close to normal levels.”

“There will still be work to do, with some road closures in place in places that got hit hardest by the rainfall event today, and we will be working to mitigate those as soon as possible.

“However, the network overall will be operating and able to take people to work, school and to go about their daily business.”

For the latest information about public transport services check the AT Mobile App or Live Departures on the AT website.

Civil Defence Centres (CDCs) and Community Shelters

A number of CDCs have been opened across Auckland. The most up-to-date list is available on the Auckland Emergency Management Website.

“It’s heartening to see that few people have needed to use these centres, which means they’ve been able to shelter at home or with whānau and friends.”

“We will continue to monitor the need for CDCs and shelters, as well as community led sites, but most are likely to close over the next day or so,” says Ms Sood.

Assessing flood damaged buildings

Thirty Rapid Building Assessment teams are expected to start carrying out rapid building assessments throughout the Auckland region from tomorrow morning.

“This is a hugely important step after any event like this. It ensures that any damage to buildings, unstable ground and any other potential hazards are identified quickly, and action undertaken to reduce any risks,” says Ms Sood.

“We want Aucklanders to be safe in their homes, so we strongly encourage anyone who wants an assessment to be undertaken to contact us at rbacomms@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Council services and facilities reopening

Meanwhile, most Auckland Council services will reopen under normal opening hours tomorrow, with the exception of council-operated pools and leisure centres, which will open from 8am.

Some facilities have experienced flooding and, as a result, may need to remain closed or provide a reduced service. People are encouraged to check opening hours before leaving home by visiting aucklandleisure.co.nz.

Aucklanders are also encouraged to report any damage to council parks, community facilities or venues, beaches or maunga, roadside or public spaces through Report A Problem.

Storm update from Watercare

Auckland’s tap water remains safe to drink. There are no widespread water outages or issues. However, there is a burst watermain in Warkworth caused by a slip. Watercare teams are responding to the issue.

Watercare treatment plants are operating well and will be monitored overnight.

Wastewater

Auckland’s wastewater network is overwhelmed with rainwater. This is causing overflows across the region and will be monitored overnight.

If you need to report a water or wastewater issue to Watercare, please use LiveChat on the Watercare website.

For more information, please refer to the Watercare website.

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