Small NZ town prepare to evacuate due to severe flooding

Publish Date
Thursday, 6 April 2017, 9:44AM

After severe rainfall and flooding caused by Cyclone Debbie remnants, the Bay of Plenty township of Edgecumbe is preparing to evacuate. Whakatane District Council officials are ordering 2000 people to leave for higher ground as water spilling through stop banks threatens to swamp the town.

Council spokesman Ross Boreham said police and fire were now going house to house telling people to leave immediately. "Most of the town we'll be asking to leave to head to higher ground or go to friends and family where they'll know they will be safe."

It's not just Edgecumbe, in other areas families have been evacuated, rivers are running high and slips are blocking roads as remnants of the former tropical cyclone pass through the Cook Strait.

Two dozen families living along Wellington's south coast were evacuated just before midnight as the Owhiro Stream in Happy Valley Rd burst it banks. MetService says the worst of the weather should now be over for the North Island, but not the South Island where wind and gale warnings remain in force.

Police continue to search for a man believed missing in the swollen Waikato River.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.