Civil Defence is asking Waikato employers to allow workers to leave work early to ensure they can get home before the worst of the rain hits this evening.
"This is particularly important for people who need to get home from, say, Hamilton to the likes of eastern parts of the region or Taupo," said group controller Lee Hazlewood.
Civil Defence has established an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Ngāruawāhia and will be monitoring the situation closely with teams ready to respond to flooding, slips, community welfare and any other issues from the storm.
Waikato District Council is encouraging residents to take note of the following advice during this period of bad weather:
- If people or property are in danger always call 111. Call 0800 492 452 to report damage
- Stay inside and avoid driving unless necessary.
- Take extra care due to surface water and debris.
- If you're driving at night don't rely on signage. You may be the first to come across a slip or flooding.
- Bring pets inside, and move stock to higher ground. If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you.
- Put your household plan into action and check your gateway kit in case you have to leave in a hurry. Civil Defence advises to have food and water for seven days, especially if you live in rural areas.
- Secure, or move indoors, all items that could get blown about or cause harm in high winds.
- Close windows and all doors. Pull curtains over unprotected glass to prevent injury from broken glass.
- If the wind becomes destructive, stay away from doors and windows and shelter further inside the house.
- Power cuts are possible. Unplug small appliances that could be affected by power surges. If power is lost unplug major appliances to reduce the power surge and possible damage when power restores.
- Stay out of flood waters. There is a risk of wastewater contamination and unknown hazards.
- If you feel your home is at risk please seek alternative accommodation with friends or family, if you can please contact Waikato District Council on 0800 492 452.
The latest weather warnings for the Waikato region:
- Coromandel Peninsula: 80-120 mm of rain in 12 hours (9am to 9pm today), with 150km/hr wind gusts and 5m waves from this afternoon into the evening.
- Waikato and Waitomo: 70-90 mm in 12 hours (9am to 9pm today), with 120km/hr gusts from this afternoon into the evening.
- Taupo: 70-90 mm in 15 hours (9am to midnight today), with 140km/hr gusts from this evening into Friday morning.
- High tide this evening (2102 for Firth of Thames and 2100 for Whitianga) coincides with a period of high rain intensity. Therefore, extreme care should be taken around low lying areas at this time.
- The Kauaeranga River flood management spillway across state highway 25 south of Thames could operate at this time, closing that road.
There are still roads in the Waikato district that are closed following last week’s ex-Cyclone Debbie. Closed roads and partially open roads in our district as at 10.15am, 13 April are:
Maurice Road, Glen Murray
Churchill Rd between 8km and 11km mark, Pukekawa
Clarke and Denize Road, Pukekawa
Klondyke Road, Te Kohanga
Koheroa Road between Kellyville Road and Glass Road intersections, Mercer
Pioneer Road and Bluff Road, Pokeno
Richardson Road, Waikaretu
Allan and Eyre Road, Onewhero
Kellyville Road (closed to heavy vehicle traffic), Mercer
McIntyre Road, Waiterimu
Pororua Road, Waiterimu
River Road, Tuakau
Te Puroa Road, Ngaruawahia
Waikaretu Valley Rd, Waikaretu
Waingaro Road, Glen Massey