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Latest on rain forecast and precautionary evacuations

EskValley FloodEvacuation 002

The MetService have issued an orange heavy rain warning for Hawke’s Bay, with significant rain expected in some areas recently affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. 

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence has issued an evacuation order for people in the Esk Valley with effect from 1pm today. This is precautionary based on the forecast rain and taking the condition of the Eskdale River in to account.  

Regional Group Manager Asset Chris Dolley says he understands this will cause distress for the people of Esk Valley. 

“According to our modelling, in Esk, the rainfall totals are unlikely to cause flooding from the river, however it will be very wet and susceptible to new slips of silt which can cause hazardous conditions.” 

There will be heavy rain in the western Wairoa catchment. “This will be enough to cause the main river to rise, but we beleive there is no major risk of out-of-channel flooding. We encourage caution around smaller streams and low-lying areas.” 

“Our automated river monitoring network will give us alerts, and we also have people on the ground for the next 24 hours who will monitor river levels and risks in low-lying, vulnerable areas and this information will go back to Civil Defence.” 

“We want to assure the community our team are working at pace to make temporary repairs to breached stop banks.”  

Evacuation advice  

Once the evacuation order is issued (likely after 1 p.m. today, Friday), people must evacuate and NOT wait to go later, when roads are likely to be affected by surface flooding or slips 

If possible, evacuees should go to whānau or friends. Civil Defence Centres will be open for those who need somewhere to stay and other support. 

These Centres are in safe locations and ready to receive people. Please go to these locations, which are outside the evacuation zones.  

Take clothing, essential medications and whatever you need to remain away from home for an extended period.  

Switch off electrical appliances such as ovens and heaters before you leave. 

Please take your pets with you when you evacuate. If necessary you can take them to the temporary animal shelter at 300 Prospect Road, Hastings, that has been set up by Ministry for Primary Industries and animal charities HUHANZ and SPCA Hawke’s Bay. Owners are unable to stay with their animals but can visit. Where possible, animals should arrive contained in a cage or on a lead, and owners can bring their animals bedding, food and toys to make the stay more comfortable. 

Move large animals such as horses, sheep and cattle to high ground if there is access. 

When you leave the area, Police personnel will be there collecting information to ensure everyone has left and is safe. The information you will be asked for is: 

  • Family name 
  • Address 
  • Number of people 
  • Whether you are going to an evacuation centre or another location 


Wairoa –  

Slightly less rain than predicted at 5am this morning, but still enough to cause the main river to rise above the green levels on the bridge.  No major risk of out-of-channel flooding.  Caution still around smaller streams and low-lying areas. 

If rainfall is greater than predicted, levels could reach the 5 year (orange levels), which is still contained in the main channel.   Forecast water levels for the upper catchment are still below the mean annual levels. 

Esk, Te Ngarue, Waipatiki 

Rainfall forecast is still an issue for these areas.  The rainfall totals are unlikely to cause out-of-channel flooding, however, the catchments are all very wet and very susceptible to new slips which may interrupt travel paths.  Silt may become mobilised again and cause additional issues. 

Water level at Berry Road has risen 2m in 9hours to 08:00, Waipunga Bridge has risen 0.75m in 2 hours to 08:00. 

Friday morning assessment has revealed water is bypassing the Waipunga Bridge recorder, and flowing over the left bank, out of channel. 

Ngaruroro, Tutaekuri, Mangaone 

Minor rain occurred overnight Thursday/Friday.   Rain forecast is still predicting moderate totals, still less than a 5-year event, and it is not widespread over the entire catchment, so we do not expect river rises to be significant, likely to be in the range of 0.5 m to 1.5 m.  Water levels in all rivers are still static as of 9:45 am. 

Find out more on the HB Emergency Facebook page here

Public Information manager (PIM)| E, P 06 835 9200  




24 February 2023

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