10.30pm, Wednesday, 5 April 2017
A state of emergency for Whanganui was declared at 6.00 pm on Tuesday 4 April.
Although the rainfall expected in our district was not as large as predicted, the Civil Defence Emergency Management team is still on standby and watching the weather situation, which could change.
As a precaution, the river-side of Taupo Quay, from Wilson Street to Moutoa Quay, will be closed from 10.00am this morning.
Cordons and security personnel will be put in place in this area and sandbags will be installed.
Business owners in the closed area of Taupo Quay are able to enter their properties until 2.00pm today, Wednesday, 5 April 2017.
“We will know more information when we receive an updated model of the Whanganui River levels from Horizons Regional Council and the weather situation from MetService, in the next several hours. Once we have this information we will have a better indication of the degree of evacuation which may be required and what the next steps are,” says Civil Defence Controller Kym Fell.
Horizons Regional Councils says that less rain that expected has fallen over the past few hours, reulting in reduced and delayed river levels compared to previous updates.
While this is predicted to be on a smaller scale event than that of the 2015 flood event, it is still a significant event.
Whanganui City Bridge is open, except to heavy traffic which is advised to use the Cobham Bridge.
All other bridges and roads in Whanganui remain open.
Controller Kym Fell says many people in areas in Whanganui East and Putiki have self-evacuated.
“Those in affected areas appear to be far better prepared since the June 2015 flood event, which we are really pleased to report. We are really encouraged to know that the message is getting through that households need to be prepared for potential river flooding or surface flooding events. As the weather is so unpredictable, the message from us is that it’s better to err on the side of caution.”
All Whanganui schools are closed today, Wednesday 5 April 2017.
There may be a number of other roads closed throughout our district due to surface flooding and slips. Please refer to www.nzta.govt.nz for more information on state highway roading conditions. For local road conditions, please visit www.whanganui.govt.nz