Clear gutters, check drains, keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan travel very carefully – it is going to be a very wet lead up to Easter across the Auckland region.
MetService is continuing to monitor incoming tropical rain bands and the impact of tropical cyclone Cook, making its way towards New Zealand from the Pacific.
Metservice Metrologist Georgina Griffiths has been keeping Auckland Civil Defence up to date and says that bursts of heavy rain are expected across the region from Wednesday.
“There is a risk of localised downpours on Wednesday and Thursday across the region, especially on Great Barrier Island.
“Similar impacts to the recent events in the Hunua Ranges and New Lynn are possible, given the saturation of the region.
“Tropical cyclone Cook is forecast to track close to the Auckland region late on Thursday, however it is too early to confirm Cook’s impact on New Zealand so keep an eye out for updated forecasts over the next few days,” she says.
Councillor John Watson, Deputy Chair of the council’s Civil Defence and Emergency Management Committee, urges Aucklanders to prepare for a wet week ahead.
“We’ve had a lot of rain already in the last four weeks and the region is pretty water-logged. It’s a good idea, while it’s still fine, to make sure gutters and drains on your property are clear and any blockages that you see on public land are reported to the council swiftly.
“If you’re driving this Easter weekend, check the weather forecasts regularly and, if you’re heading away when the worst of the weather is forecast to hit, perhaps think about adjusting your plans.
“Stay safe this holiday weekend Auckland,” he says.
Auckland Civil Defence and Auckland Council are preparing for the wet weekend ahead. Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Operations Manager Aaron Davis says teams are in active monitoring mode.
“Contractors are on standby and we’ve checked in with emergency services, utilities companies and lifelines providers.
“I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to keep an eye on the weather forecasts over the next few days and prepare to adjust your plans if the weather continues to deteriorate.
“Looking out for neighbours, friends and family will also be important, especially if you live, work or travel in an area that is prone to flooding, slips or power outages,” he says.
The council’s Healthy Waters department has, as part of its regular hotspot maintenance programme, begun clearing blocked inlets, outlets, catchpits and ponds that are known to contribute to flooding issues.
A portion of these are high risk and therefore included on the council’s regular ‘hot spot’ programme so are cleared before and after a heavy rain event.
If you’re heading out and about in the region this Easter weekend consider the following advice:
- Always drive to the weather conditions and never drive through floodwaters.
- If you get stuck in a flood, get out of your car and move to higher ground immediately, taking great care in the floodwaters.
- Never play in or walk through floodwaters unnecessarily, you may encounter unseen objects, dangerous debris or holes.
- If driving at night, drive slowly, especially through flood-prone areas as you may encounter flooding at short notice.
- If your property or suburb may be affected by slips or power outages, prepare for the possibility that your road access may be cut off and ensure you have food and provisions on hand in case of isolation.
- Never attempt to drive over slips and treat power lines as live at all times.
- If there is an immediate risk to life or property contact the emergency services on 111.
- Report blocked drains, flooding and trees down on public land to the council on 09 301 0101.
- Check on neighbours and family, especially if they are in at risk areas or might be affected by flooding or slips.
- If you’ve planned to go camping in our regional parks – phone 09 301 0101 to check the status of the campground before setting off.
- If you’re planning to go mountain biking, tramping or walking in any regional parks – check conditions and weather forecasts before you go and make sure you’re well prepared for the conditions. If you’re heading out in the Waitakere Ranges, drop in to the Arataki Visitor Centre first for advice on conditions.
- Tapapakanga Regional Park remains closed.