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Cyclone Gita Recovery Information

Published: 23 Feb 2018

WATER UPDATE

Te Moana is back on stream, but there may be some intermittent moments as we clean the filters.

Pareora is on limited supply to reduce turbidity, but is enough to keep reservoir filled.

Pareora pipeline is still closed for the few customers who take a direct untreated supply.

Peel forest should be restarted today. Reservoir is still 1/3 full.

Urban supplies are okay.

Our teams are working to get everything back to normal.

ROADS

Gravel roads are likely to have suffered significant scouring and will need re-graded, there will be many potholes that will require filling and some fords will need repairs. Repairs are also needed to at least two bridge abutments.

GERALDINE FOOTBRIDGE ARE CLOSED

This is an incredibly busy time for our roading teams, so we will not be able to fix every road immediately, but we are putting extra resource into spot fixing potholes and regrading. It will take some time to get everything back to normal, so we’d ask drivers to take extra care, particularly on our rural roads.

PATITI POINT SURFERS CAR PARK

The Patiti Point Surfers Carpark and its access road behind the Caledonian Sports Grounds are now closed to vehicle access due to concerns about cliff erosion beside the road.

Please do not use this car park while barriers are being erected. This closure is for safety reasons, those passing an official road closure sign may not be covered by insurance if an accident happens.

Road closure information is available here: www.timaru.govt.nz/roadstatusmap

Cyclone Gita – Update #6

Timaru District EOC is standing down as the council moves into the recovery and clean up phase following Cyclone Gita.

Timaru EOC Controller, Tracy Tierney, thanked the community for their responsible actions during the event, which passed in this district without any major injury or loss of life.

“It’s a credit to the community that they’re becoming increasingly prepared for and informed as to what to do in cases of extreme weather like this. People ensuring they monitor their own situation and keep themselves safe makes the job of our emergency services significantly easier.

“With the weather forecast to improve, the river levels receding slowly we can close the response centre and move into the recovery phase. We will be keeping our road closure map online, and we are still available on 687 7200 to respond to any issues people may have.

“While our teams are identifying and logging problems, there may still be rough areas of road, surface flooding and diversions in place. Please drive to the conditions and follow any diversions that we may have put in place.”

Further updates will be available on our website and the council facebook page as needed. Live road information is available at timaru.govt.nz/roadstatusmap and State Highway information is available on journeys.nzta.govt.nz

Cyclone Gita Update #5

Timaru District Council Emergency Operations Centre will remain open today to coordinate the response following Cyclone Gita.

There will continue to be significant surface water on the road network and we’re advising people to not travel unless necessary. Those who do drive will have to do so with extreme caution.

Council teams are inspecting the road network, so not all routes will be signposted yet.

Local road closures are being listed on timaru.govt.nz/roadstatusmap and highways information is on journeys.nzta.govt.nz

The main road closures include:

  • Washdyke Flat Road
  • Station Road
  • Kellands Hill Road
  • Naughton Road
  • SH79 at Speechleys Bridge, diversion via Earl Road
  • Pleasant Valley Road at junction with School Road SH79
  • Rangitata Gorge Road is 4WD only from Boundary Creek

Please check your route before leaving.

Timaru EOC Controller, Tracy Tierney said the crews would be working through the day to ensure infrastructure was made safe and get a full picture of the damage.

“Although we’re currently still getting a lot of rain from the tail end of Cyclone Gita, the situation is forecast to improve throughout the day. It will take a while longer for our stormwater system to clear the water from everywhere so it’s important for people not to take any risks on the road, and if you don’t need to travel, stay at home.

“We’ll be updating our website with road information through the day, and our teams will be beginning the clean up shortly.”

Rain will continue through this morning, but should begin to tail off. All rivers continue to be monitored closely. Most of the district rivers are now peaked and levels are dropping.

Water intakes continue to be closed to the Te Moana and Pareora rivers to prevent dirty water, stirred up by the high river flows, entering the system. No urban water supplies are affected, and all rural properties affected should have approximately two days’ supply in their water tanks.

Timaru EOC will remain open today. Council customer services is available 24/7 on 687 7200 if you have any issues you wish to report.

Cyclone Gita Update #4 - 00:00 21/02/2018

Timaru District Council Emergency Operations Centre will remain open overnight and continue to monitor the local situation.

Rain appears to be easing and is expected to fall at about 3 to 4mm per hour on lowland areas through the night, with possible higher falls inland. Rivers are expected to reach peak flow over the next few hours but should remain within usual channels. However, those living near rivers and waterways should remain cautious.

Surface flooding has affected a number of roads in the region and all drivers should be cautious and drive to the conditions. For further information about local roads or any closures, please go to www.timaru.govt.nz/roadstatusmap

For further information about local rainfall or river flows please visit the following Environment Canterbury sites:

https://www.ecan.govt.nz/data/riverflow/?loc=S

https://www.ecan.govt.nz/data/rainfall-data/

If you have experienced flooding before, or you are in a flood-prone, low lying area please monitor your situation closely, as it can change quickly. If in doubt you should self-evacuate to friends or family.

Timaru EOC will remain open through the night. Council customer services is available 24/7 if you have any issues you wish to report.

A further update will be issued at about 8:30am.

ECAN SOUTH CANTERBURY RIVERS UPDATE - 1900

Our colleagues at Environment Canterbury have updated their advice on the rivers.

South Canterbury Rivers Update - 7pm

50-80mm of rain has fallen in the South Canterbury foothills up until 6pm today, with the largest amounts in the foothills from Peel Forest/Geraldine throu0.gh to the Mackenize Pass. Rainfall intensities up to 10mm per hour have been recorded.

The forecast is for heavy rain to continue until about midnight tonight.

River Flow Estimates:

  • Orari River: 6pm flow 140 cumecs. River capacity approximately 600-800 cumecs. Flows should be contained within river.
  • Waihi River: 6pm flow 52 cumecs. Overflows into low lying areas adjacent to river can be expected.
  • Te Moana River: 6pm flow 36 cumecs. Overflows into low lying areas adjacent to river can be expected.
  • Kakahu River: 6pm flow 25 cumecs. Overflows into low lying areas adjacent to river can be expected.
  • Temuka River: 6pm flow 46 cumecs. Overflows into low lying land on south bank upstream of Manse Bridge can be expected.
  • Opuha: 6pm lake level 389.9m. Some spilling from Lake Opuha may occur but the river is expected to stay within its banks. Approximate river capacity is 250-300 cumecs.
  • Tengawai River at Cave: 6pm flow 22 cumecs. Approximate river capacity 500 cumecs. River is expected to stay within its banks.
  • Opihi at Rockwood: 6pm flow 70 cumecs. Approximate river capacity 400 cumecs. No problems expected in the Opihi.
  • Pareora River: 6pm flow 90 cumecs. Approximate river capacity about 600 cumecs. River is expected to stay within its banks.

Rivers south of Pareora and in the Waitaki Valley are not expected to cause major problems at this stage.

This message for South Canterbury will be updated before midnight tonight unless the situation changes significantly.

Cyclone Gita Update #3 - 1800

Timaru District Council Emergency Operations Centre is continuing to monitor the situation arising Cyclone Gita.

The worst effects of the cyclone are likely to be felt from now and overnight with significant rainfall and high winds forecast.

Environment Canterbury has reported that the rivers are flowing well, with both Saltwater Creek and Washdyke Lagoon having been opened. The Rangitata will be opened tomorrow morning.

There will however, continue to be overland water flow and surface flooding and people alongside rivers should monitor the situation closely.

Timaru EOC Controller, Tracy Tierney, said that people in areas vulnerable to flooding need to take this time ensure they are ready to evacuate themselves if the situation gets worse.

“Those in areas that are very low lying or that have flooded in the past should be monitoring the situation closely. The situation can be unpredictable, if you feel that you are at risk, our recommendation is to evacuate yourself to friends or family.

“If you don’t need to travel tonight, our advice is to stay at home, the combination of high winds and heavy rain forecast will make for extremely difficult driving conditions.”

The Taitarakihi stream in Timaru is being monitored closely. The culverts under State Highway 1 and the railway line have been completely cleared and are currently functioning.

Woodside Road outside Geraldine has been closed due to a collapsed culvert, other roads remain open.

The council has activated its emergency road map, which will update with any local road closures as they happen, it’s available at www.timaru.govt.nz/roadstatusmap, highways information can be obtained from journeys.nzta.govt.nz

Fords are closed on the following Roads: Gaulter Road, Casey Road, Goodwin Road and Blandswood Road. Other fords should be avoided.

Water intakes have been closed to the Te Moana and Pareora rivers to prevent dirty water, stirred up by the high river flows, entering the system. No urban water supplies are affected, and all rural properties affected should have approximately two days’ supply in their water tanks.

Timaru EOC will remain open through the night. Council customer services is available 24/7 on 687 7200 if you have any issues you wish to report.

Cyclone Gita Update #2

Timaru District Council Emergency Operations Centre is continuing to monitor the situation arising Cyclone Gita.

The worst effects of the cyclone are likely to be felt from 4pm and overnight with significant rainfall and high winds forecast.

EOC Controller, Tracy Tierney, said that people should try to avoid any unnecessary travel tonight as there will be significant surface water and ponding at junctions, and debris on the road could make travel dangerous.

“Particular care should be taken on rural roads, and fords should be avoided as they will be running faster and higher than usual,” she said

Council has activated its emergency road map, which will update with any local road closures as they happen, it’s available at www.timaru.govt.nz/roadstatusmap, highways information can be obtained from journeys.nzta.govt.nz

No major roads are closed, however fords are closed in the following places: Gaulter Road, Casey Road, Goodwin Road and Blandswood Road.

River intakes have been closed on the Te Moana and Pareora water schemes to protect the system from dirty water caused by increased river flows. All customers on these schemes will have at least two days storage and should not experience a shortage.

River levels are currently within normal levels and Environment Canterbury are not currently forecasting that any stop banks will be breached, but there will be surface flooding in rural areas. Farmers should ensure stock is moved to higher ground and they should monitor their river frontages.

Saltwater Creek has been opened to the sea and the Rangitata River will be opened tomorrow morning once there is enough flow for it to remain open.

If you have experienced flooding before, or you are in a flood-prone, low lying area please monitor your situation closely, as it can change quickly. If in doubt you should self-evacuate to friends or family.

Timaru EOC will remain open through the night. Council customer services is available 24/7 if you have any issues you wish to report.

Temporary Water Scheme Closures - 1333

The water has been shut off for:

* Te Moana - All consumers should have 2 days storage
* Peel Forest - Scheme storage should last several days
* Pareora pipeline - Flow through the Pareora pipeline may cease affecting the few consumers supplied with untreated water.

Pareora township supply is being throttled and may be shut off overnight. Scheme storage should last several days and all consumers are required to have 2 days storage.

Other water schemes are currently unaffected.

FORD CLOSURES - 1140

Fords are closed on the following Roads

Gaulter Road
Casey Road
Goodwin Road
Blandswood Road

Update #1 - 1100

Timaru District Council has activated its emergency operations centre at a low level to monitor and respond to any issues arising from Cyclone Gita.

The cyclone is expected to bring heavy rain and high winds to the district over the next 36 hours.

Road conditions are likely to be challenging, with significant surface water on roads and ponding at junctions. People are being reminded to drive to the conditions.

There are currently no road closures. One ford on Gaulter Road is now closed.

South Street access to the Surfers Carpark by the Caledonian Grounds is temporarily closed.

There is ponding around intersections in the rural areas, especially around Temuka so taking care when driving is essential.

People should avoid fords where possible, they are likely to be higher and faster moving than normal.

As high winds are forecast residents should be taking the opportunity to check their gardens for unsecured objects, such as trampolines umbrellas and garden furniture, which could be a hazard.

High winds can also cause power outages and downed lines, so people are being reminded to ensure they have batteries for lanterns.

People can go to getthru.govt.nz for office advice on preparedness for adverse weather events.

Timaru Emergency Operations Controller, Tracy Tierney, said that the council has activated the EOC at this early stage to ensure all local agencies are ready to respond if needed.

Update 10.00

We're currently in the process of pulling a small Emergency Operations Centre Team together to keep an eye on the situation and respond early to any threats.

The rain is forecast to tail off a little today before coming back with some high wind in tow later today. The main rain is likely for fall in the high country, so that will mean increased flow in rivers and creeks.

It's a good opportunity before the wind starts to check all loose items in your garden (trampolines, barbecues, swing sets, etc) are properly secured.

The wind may also cause power outages, so it's good to ensure you have lantern batteries etc.

The rivers have a reasonable amount of capacity still left in them and ECAN will be working to control them where possible, but there may be some overland flow and increased flow in creeks. It may be a good idea to move stock from really low lying areas.

There will be surface water and some ponding on the roads in the usual spots, this is normal, but PLEASE SLOW DOWN around it as creating a bow wave can push the water into properties.

We'll have updates with further information once we have it.

Update 09.30

Please note all sportsfields are closed until further notice.

Update 09.00

It's a fairly wet one this morning so there's likely to be a lot of surface water on the roads. Conditions on the rural roads are likely to be more challenging than usual and you need to take extreme care on fords, as they can fill up fast.

Our stormwater system is acting as it should, there may be a bit of ponding on the road in some areas, but this is meant to happen as it slows down the rate water enters the system so it can cope with high flows.

Stay safe folks. We'll have more info out later today.

Publish Date: 23 Feb 2018