Night of heavy rain and evacuations follows a day of devastating floods for Tairāwhiti

A heavy rain warning for Tairāwhiti has been extended until 10am, and residents already battered by a day of rain and flooding have been warned to prepare for more.

More residents were evacuated last night as river levels rose with the constant rain. Houses on Waingake Rd in Manutuke were evacuated at 1.23am, and Te Karaka residents in low-lying areas were evacuated at around 4am.

On Wednesday evening, MetService extended its heavy rain warning for the region until 10am on Thursday.

The region was told to expect an extra 150 millimetres to 200mm. Gisborne had already received between 250-300mm of rain in the 24 hours until 6pm.

A state of emergency was declared for the region on Wednesday morning.

Residents of tiny Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne, are hopeful their bridge’s position on a state highway will mean a speedy repair job.
HILLZ KAHAKI/STUFF
Residents of tiny Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne, are hopeful their bridge’s position on a state highway will mean a speedy repair job.

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence group controller David Wilson urged people to be prepared, and stay home.

“There are a number of roads closed due to slips and flooding, and we ask that everyone restrict their travel until assessments can be made, Wilson said.

Urupā and cemeteries are increasingly under threat from the impacts of flooding and landslips, as evident by one such site at a Tairāwhiti marae following heavy rainfall across the region.

Residents of tiny Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne, are hopeful their bridge’s position on a state highway will mean a speedy repair job after the flooded river destroyed their only route south.

Members of the Gisborne Surf Lifesaving emergency callout squad make their way along a flooded SH35.

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