Weather and sea warnings were lifted off Tairāwhiti on Saturday as the focus turns to cleaning up and reconnecting communities.
Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Controller, Nedine Thatcher Swann said the region’s roading network was still very fragile, with teams out to restore access as safely and quickly as possible.
“There is still land movement out there with new slips and dropouts to deal with so we encourage people to only travel if necessary and drive safely around any damage,” she said.
“This is the fifth heavy rain event we’ve had over the past 18 months and I want to thank everyone who has once again helped to fix our roads and keep our communities connected.
“I also want to thank our community as well, for knowing what to do and being prepared.”
State Highway (SH) 35 remains closed between Te Puia Springs and Ruatorea after the road dropped a metre on Kopuaroa Hill. The SH reopened briefly today after road crews built the road back up but it will close again tonight as a precaution in case of another dropout.
Caution is advised on Beach Road in Tokomaru Bay as the road has dropped out in two places reducing it to a single lane, and a sea wall has collapsed.
Today members of the Civil Defence team will fly up the East Coast by helicopter to assess damage and take food supplies to a whānau on one affected property.
There are also two properties, one in Tokomaru Bay and one in Gisborne, being closely monitored after land movement caused concern.
Gisborne District Council’s website is being kept up to date with road closures.