In late January and early February, the region mostly north of Taumarunui was affected by the weather system that hit Auckland,
- Opotiki Rd closed due to multiple slips.
- SH43 multiple issues
- Ohura River flooding and slips
- Ohura Rd north of Ohura was flooded.
- A slip on Ohura Rd 11km out of Matiere, where it was down to one lane
After that event it was then indicated that Cyclone Gabrielle was on its way and the majority of the North Island was under red or orange weather watch. On 13 February it was an orange watch for Ruapehu. With this warning a CD Incident Control Point was established at the CD Base in Taumarunui to initially monitor the Cyclone effects on the region as well as act as liaison with Contractors and Emergency Services to if needed then stand up an EOC in the Taumarunui Chambers if required.
The cyclone as expected gave the region gale force wind gusts of over 120 kph in exposed places which mainly bought down trees which then also disrupted the power for some communities. Compared to other districts in the North island we got off fairly lightly. It must be said that Utility companies and Contractors over the period of the Cyclone did an amazing job to react to all reported issues over the weather event, which showed the region to have only limited disruption.
A review of our response will be held in early March with those in RDC that were involved but will also consist of the ‘what if’ we experienced worse.
Local and Regional Civil Defence Update
After the cyclone there has now been progress to the National Park Emergency Response facility.