Gisborne flooding a medium scale event

Published on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

 

Flooding damage around the Tolaga Bay area of Gisborne meets the criteria for a medium scale event, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor and Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced today.

Metservice has forecast heavy rain and severe gales for parts of northern and central New Zealand over the next two days, including parts of Gisborne, where significant damage was caused from 200mm of rain falling in 24 hours a week ago.

“The second storm in a week is bringing more intense rainfall to Tolaga Bay and the surrounding area,” said Damien O’Connor.

“The people in this area were just starting to clean up from the impact of the severe rainfall over Queen’s Birthday weekend.”

“During last week’s storms, the Hikuwai River rose three metres and passed flood warning levels within half an hour, worse than forecast and overnight, leaving farmers with little time to prepare.

“The area’s infrastructure, farm land and plantation forestry was significantly damaged, with silt and forestry debris washing up over farmland and damaging bridges.  People were evacuated to safety, and stock including 350 ewes and several horses were reported as lost.”

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) has been leading the response so far. Minister Whaitiri, Associate Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, observed the affected area in a flyover last week with Te Uru Rākau officials and Gisborne District Council staff and has maintained close contact with those on the ground.

“The next 24 hours are critical,” says Meka Whaitiri. “It’s unfortunate this weather is coming in so close to the first storm, but people are prepared this time, and will either move, or are wary that another downfall will cause more damage.

“The bigger picture is emerging that it’s not just about cleaning up the immediate damage and stock losses. It’s about support to our communities and how to feed stock over winter when the pasture and winter crops are now under silt and water,” says Meka Whaitiri.

Ministers, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) officials and industry bodies are working closely with local CDEM, industry and community groups in parts of Gisborne.

“Getting farmers, their families, workers, animals and businesses safely through the next couple of days is paramount,” says Damien O’Connor.

 “When this storm passes, we are ready to focus on clean up and recovery.”

Background

Classifying an adverse event as medium-scale means a range of recovery assistance measures can be brought in for the rural community.  This can include:

  • Resourcing for rural recovery co-ordination.
  • Resource for on-farm farm clean-up. This could involve the co-ordination of volunteers or the use of Enhanced Taskforce Green.
  • A boost for the local Rural Support Trust to help serve their communities with pastoral care, including organising local events and arranging recovery facilitators who work one-to-one with farmers.
  • Technology  transfer activities and events.

Other usual recovery measures, which may include tax flexibility and income assistance options, can be made available as appropriate. 
 

Advice for farmers

  • Take care of yourself, your family, your workers, your neighbours and your animals
  • Ensure stock and domestic animals have food, clean water, shelter, and are secure.
  • If you move stock during flooding update your NAIT records. 
  • For any advice or assistance call your industry body or local Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254). In an emergency dial 111.

 

Background

What are the criteria for declaring a medium scale adverse event?

There are three levels of ‘adverse events’ – localised, medium and large-scale. These can cover events like droughts, floods, fire, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

The criteria for assessing the scale of an adverse event are:

  • Options available for the community to prepare for and recover from the event; 
  • Magnitude of the event (likelihood and scale of physical impact), and;
  • Capacity of the community to cope economically and socially.

ends

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Author: Terri Anderson

Categories: National, Bay of Plenty, East Coast

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News & Alerts

Dairy NZ flood information

for Otago and Southland

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

 

DairyNZ

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After a flood

Monday, November 12, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

Safety first

  • Don't put yourself at risk from contaminated water, damaged roads, or landslides and other hazards.
  • Look for and report broken power lines to your electricity provider. Treat all lines as live.
  • Trees may be unstable due to saturated ground and high winds.
  • Be conscious of security. Lock your car and house. Report suspicious activity to police.

Health and wellbeing

  • Throw away food and water that has been contaminated by floodwater.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated.

Your property

  • Report flooded homes and any need for temporary accommodation to your local council.
  • Assess damage to water supply and reticulation systems. Which stock water troughs are contaminated with silt and will need cleaning?
  • Assess damage to access lanes, tracks, gateways, culverts, and fences. What flood debris needs to be cleared?
  • Assess damage to pastures and the depth and type of silt.
  • Assess available non-flooded pastures and other unaffected feed reserves.
  • Accept help when offered, and ask for it if you need it.
  • Take photos of damage and contact your insurer.
  • Your Rural Support Trust is available to call for help or info for farmers – 0800 787 254.

https://www.westlanddc.govt.nz/emergency-management

 

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