Monday 13 February 2023
Waikato District Council has declared a State of Emergency at 3:38pm Monday 13 February, for an initial period of seven days in preparation for the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle.
The declaration gives Waikato District Civil Defence professionals special powers to deal with the emergency, including the ability to evacuate residents at high risk of impact.
“The decision to declare was made with the safety of the public forefront of mind,” says Waikato district Mayor Jacqui Church.
“With the worst of the weather due to hit overnight, we want to ensure that we are ready to respond taking whatever action necessary to keep our people safe.”
The decision was made based on modelling and a risk assessment which indicates several areas of high risk, including low lying areas near the Waikato river at Port Waikato.
However, Council is urging residents not to wait for authorities to tell them when they need to evacuate: “If there is surface flooding in your area and you see rising water, do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater.” adds Mayor Church.
“It is also important to remember to never try to walk, play, swim or drive in floodwater and, if someone’s life is in danger, call 111.”
Self-evacuated residents that are unable to seek shelter with friends and whanau should keep an eye on the Council website for a list of Community-Led Centres available across the district. Further centres are on standby and can be activated if there is a demand for their services.
If you or someone you know needs support, notices any issues with roading or has questions, please contact Waikato District Council on 0800 492 452.