Auckland has experienced a staggering amount of rainfall with widespread flooding creating hazards for people and properties.
In places houses and buildings have been flooded and people have been evacuated. Many local roads and highways are unpassable or closed due to flooding and slips, and serious flooding has affected Auckland Airport.
Authorities are warning people to stay at home if it is safe to do so, but to pack essentials and be prepared to evacuate if you are in an area threatened by flooding.
A State of Emergency was called for the region at 9.30pm on Friday and will remain in place for seven days. Auckland’s mayor Wayne Brown reiterated the call to “stay safe, stay home” and said the rain and flooding was not over.
Calling for help
If you are unsafe, call 111.
Fire and Emergency received more than 2000 calls last night in Auckland, and on Friday night asked people to only call 111 if there was an emergency where someone’s safety was in jeopardy. However, by Saturday morning, FENZ Counties Manukau district manager Brad Mosby said staff were now working through the backlog of less urgent calls.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said due to the number of calls for help, emergency services were prioritising what they could respond to, but his message was to stay safe, minimise movement and look after others as much as possible.
Brown said those responding to requests for help were focused on welfare calls, and would address infrastructure problems as a second priority when that is possible. Resources from outside the region were being brought in to assist the local civil defence response.
To report flooding, damage to drains, or stormwater issues, Auckland Council wants people to report online here.
The Ministry of Social Development is also taking calls for welfare assistance on: 0800 400 100.
Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty said while the Civil Defence response is currently a local response, help was also being supplied from outside the region by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
“There are resources to assist. People should be not hesitating – if they need assistance, and letting NEMA [National Emergency Management Agency] know,” McAnulty said.
Auckland’s tap water is safe to drink, Auckland Council said.
Vector is reporting widespread power outages. Check their outage map here.
In many places, sewerage has been flooded and spilled into the floodwaters, and people are urged to stay out of the water if they can.
Where to find essential information
Auckland Emergency Management is providing regular updates on their website here.
Auckland Council is providing updates and information on their website here.
RNZ will keep updating news and information from authorities throughout the day on air and online, including in our live blog.
Where to go if it is not safe at home
Three Civil Defence Centres are open for anyone who needs a safe place to go to.
- In Kelson at Saint Leonard’s Road School, 15 Leonard’s Road
- In Randwick Park, at Manu Tukutuku, 32 Riverton Drive
- In Albany, at the Massey University Albany East Precinct. Enter at Gate 1/Main Entrance off the Albany Expressway SH17. The centre is set up in the Sir Neil Waters Theatre
A helpline has been set up by Auckland Emergency Management for anyone who needs accommodation: 0800 22 22 00.
An earlier Civil Defence Centre that had been opened at the North Shore Events Centre was shifted to the Massey Campus (see details above).
Anyone headed to the Civil Defence Centres is asked to bring essential items like medication, warm clothes and baby items.
Roads and travel
Authorities are calling on everyone to stay safe at home and not to travel if they are safe where they are.
For anyone who does need to use the roads, updates are being posted by Auckland Transport on their Twitter feed here, and Waka Kotahi on their website here and on their Twitter feed here.
Due to the flooding at Auckland Airport, no domestic or international flights will be arriving or departing from Auckland Airport before noon today. Travellers should get in touch with their airline or check their airline travel app for the latest information and any impact on travel plans.
Flood waters and damage
Auckland Emergency Management Duty Controller Andrew Clark called on everyone to think of safety first.
“We understand Aucklanders will be anxious to return to their homes to survey the damage, but we urge them to do so with caution.
“Please do not drive through floodwaters and remember hazards and debris could lurk beneath the surface, and floodwaters may be contaminated.
“If your property has been damaged, please take pictures for your insurance company and contact them as soon as you can.”
Beaches are unsafe
All Auckland beaches are now rated high or very high risk for swimming as flood waters overwhelmed wastewater systems.
Auckland’s SafeSwim website said every beach was now at red or black alert, the highest rating. At black level, residents are advised baldly – Do not swim.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz