As the region shifts its focus to recovery today, Auckland Emergency Management is working hard to support communities impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.
“Safety remains a key concern, both from the risk of further land slips and also for anyone cleaning up any flood damage. Please follow advice and make sure your safety is a priority,” says deputy controller Rachel Kelleher.
Access to parts of the West Coast including Muriwai, Piha and Karekare remains restricted due to landslips. About 20 homes were evacuated in Piha last night due to land instability, and an exclusion zone is in place in a large part of Muriwai.
“If you have been evacuated, please do not go back to your property until you are advised it is safe to do so. Please remember that the ground is saturated and there is a very real risk of further slips,” Rachel says.
“Anyone who lives in an area that is prone to slips, or who feels unsafe, please don’t wait for direction. Please self-evacuate to friends or family, or to a nearby Civil Defence Centre.”
Auckland Council building assessment teams are out across the region today conducting rapid impact assessments on the safety of properties. 120 teams of assessors along with 20 members of the welfare team have been working in the region this morning, conducting rapid building and welfare assessments.
“We know that people are anxious to get back in their homes but we ask that they do not return until they have been told it is safe to do so,” Rachel says.
“Rapid Building Assessments are in full swing today where it is safe for us to do them, so we can get people answers about the safety of their homes and properties as soon as we can.”
· Auckland Transport says the scale of damage to Auckland’s roads from ex-Cyclone Gabrielle is unprecedented, with 75 roads fully closed and 60 roads partially closed.
· AT’s main priority in coming days is to restore some form of road access for those Auckland communities which are currently cut off, such as Piha, Muriwai and Karekare.
· AT advises that due to the scale of damage across the region’s roads it will take a significant period of time to rebuild and recover.
· Train services are running today to schedule on the Eastern and Southern Lines today, while trains on the Western Line are operating every twenty minutes between Britomart and Henderson, with hourly rail replacement buses between Henderson and Swanson.
· Most scheduled bus services are running as usual and most ferry services have returned to their regular timetables. Gulf Harbour services remain replaced by shuttles today and damage to the structure of Birkenhead wharf was identified last night which means Birkenhead ferry services will be replaced by alternative transport services for the rest of the week.
· There were about 200 people in Civil Defence Centres and Shelters overnight. This included about 50 domestic and international travellers who took shelter at our Civil Defence Centre set up at The Trusts Arena after flights out of Auckland Airport were cancelled late yesterday due to high winds.
· We are continuing to review the community requirements for each of our Civil Defence Centres and Shelters so we can divert resources to where they’re most needed. Please continue to keep an eye on the AEM website for the most up to date information – aem.org.nz
· Anyone who may need medium or long-term accommodation as a result of damage to their home from this event, should get in touch with the Temporary Accommodation Service, who may be able to help. Details are available on the MBIE website.
· Auckland’s tap water remains safe to drink and there are no widespread water outages.
· Three small water treatment plants are offline in Helensville, Muriwai and Wellsford. The reservoirs in Helensville and Wellsford will be topped up using tankers as needed. Residents and businesses in these areas are encouraged to use water wisely today.
· The treatment plant in Muriwai has been damaged by the cyclone and the area is out of water. A water tanker has been sent to the area to provide emergency water. Residents will need to bring containers to transport the water home.
· Kerbside rubbish, recycling and food scraps collections have resumed today on your normal cycle. If your normal collection day is Monday or Tuesday, your next collection will be next week.
· Council will also resume its kerbside collections of flood-damaged items. You can call us to log a request if you haven’t done so. Please remember, we can’t pick up construction material or large items of green waste.
· An important reminder that flood-damaged items can pose a health risk to you and your family. If you’re cleaning up your home and property, please do wear gloves, a long sleeved top and trousers, and a face mask if you can, and take extra care around any mould or possible asbestos. Information about cleaning up safely is on our website.
Muriwai information hub opened
· Auckland Emergency Management has opened an information hub for residents at Muriwai Rangers Station on Motutara Road, with members of our welfare and building inspection team on hand to answer questions and provide advice.
· We know many Aucklanders continue to be without power and internet coverage, so if you are in contact with affected residents, please them know they can head to the Rangers Station for help and advice.