There was cheering and clapping in the streets of Napier as power came on in parts of the city yesterday, the mayor says.
Some homes were also being assessed across the region with some residents beginning to return if they were safe.
About 30 percent of the city has power back on – mainly in the CBD and surrounding suburbs.
But Mayor Kirsten Wise asked people to be conservative with their power use.
“My heart goes out to the rest of our communities that still do not have any power. Those that have power, just be careful with your usage – don’t go chucking on your dishwashers and your clothes dryers – it is a temporary fix they have put in place and we don’t want to overload it.
“For the rest of our city we do still in fact need to conserve our water usage … minimise flushing of toilets, minimise showers… Please, please, please no-one jump out with your hose and start trying to clean up silt.”
For those in need of LPG gas, there was plenty of supply and deliveries were underway, Wise said.
For those trying to find loved ones, Wise said “don’t panic” and advised them to contact police.
“A lot of it is simply coming down to the fact that people are not contactable … we do know there are lots of people who still don’t have power, their phones aren’t charged, so they just can’t be gotten hold of.”
She expected an update from police on the number of those uncontactable today.
As of yesterday afternoon there were about 900 people housed in Napier evacuation centres, Wise said.
Some people had been able to return home yesterday.
“As we move into the recovery phase, that is when we really start looking at those people who need longer-term condition.”
A council-owned holiday camp would be available for people to stay in.
Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence said there had been a step change in its Cyclone Gabrielle Response in the last 24 hours.
Its Operational Readiness team leader Edaan Lennan said in some areas, the response had moved from immediate survival mode to better understanding the impact and getting people back in their homes.
Limited communications in Wairoa
Wairoa still remains largely cut off with limited communication, and the focus is continuing to get essential supplies to communities there, where Civil Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force is on the ground.
Helicopters will be sent out again today on reconnaissance missions there and in other rural areas to survey roads, transmission lines, stop banks, water levels in townships and slips on farmland.
Napier MP Stuart Nash is coordinating a drop of 25,000 newsletters which will be distributed around Napier and surrounding areas.
National Emergency Management Agency advice:
- Put safety first. Don’t take any chances. Act quickly if you see rising water. Floods and flash floods can happen quickly. If you see rising water do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater.
- Do not try to walk, play, swim, or drive in floodwater: even water just 15 centimetres deep can sweep you off your feet, and half a metre of water will carry away most vehicles.
- If you have evacuated, please stay where you are until you are given the all-clear to go home.
- If you don’t need to evacuate, support those who do by staying home, staying off roads and staying safe.
- If you are not able to contact your whānau in the heavily affected areas go to Police 105 website and complete the inquiry form or phone 105 and remember to update if you reconnect through other means.
- Throw away food and drinking water that has come into contact with floodwater as it is often contaminated and can make you sick.
- If you are without power eat the food from your fridge first, then your freezer. Then eat the food in the cupboard or your emergency kit.
- People should stay up to date with the forecasts from MetService and continue to follow the advice of civil defence and emergency services.
- A National State of Emergency is in place for an initial period of seven days and applies to regions that have declared a local State of Emergency.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz