Gisborne hit with surface flooding after heavy rain


Heavy rain is causing surface flooding across the Gisborne district with roads closed and sewer systems under pressure.

Surface flooding in Gisborne.

Surface flooding in Gisborne. Photo: RNZ

MetService has issued an orange warning for the region with rain expected to ease after 6pm.

The Gisborne District Council said there has been 220 millimetres of rain since yesterday morning and its team had a busy night monitoring the city’s sewerage and stormwater systems.

Tairawhiti Civil Defence and Emergency manager Ben Green told Midday Report the flooding is reaching saturation levels and it could affect land stability in some areas.

“In terms of the forecast rain event which has been tracking through the region for the last 12 hours (we’ve had) surface flooding which we’re dealing with at the moment.”

“We’ve had people self-evacuate just as a precaution particularly with the high tides and the combination of the rain event from a couple of areas up the coast.”

Metservice Gisborne weather warnings

Photo: Metservice

The lower lying areas of Gisborne city are causing concern, he said.

Last night, the emergency sewer valves were opened to release pressure on the system and avoid sewage overflows.

Green said there has not been widespread power outages but some areas have been hit worse than others.

“The wind particularly at the top of the coast has been a lot stronger than the Gisborne area but there are certainly pockets where Eastern Networks are dealing with restoring utilities there.”

The weather has also affected the roads with a fallen tree closing Moanui Road while Anaura Road is closed with flooding.

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