Community Update – 11 February 2023

Media Release – Civil Defence Emergency Management team monitoring situation as Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle gathers momentum – 10 February 2023 

Horowhenua District Council’s Civil Defence Emergency Management team met today in preparation for the arrival of Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle to the district.

Early modelling shows the Upper North and East Coast of the North Island will be most severely impacted by the impending weather system, however Horowhenua can expect severe gales of between 120km and140km from Tuesday, and the Tararua Range is likely to receive a substantial amount of rain.

The severe wind and heavy rainfall anticipated could mean fallen trees, power outages, rapidly rising rivers, potential flooding, hazardous driving conditions and possible challenges for our treatment plants.  Council and contractors are keeping a watching brief throughout the weekend as the situation develops. 

Civil Defence Emergency Management Controller Brent Harvey says “At this stage the modelling is showing Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle’s path veering to the east of our district, however these types of weather systems are changeable, so it’s important we all be prepared.”

 We encourage the community to do what they can to prepare for Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle:

  • In an emergency, call 111.
  • Stay informed of weather updates on www.metservice.com/national.  Follow Council’s Facebook page @HorowhenuaDC for local Civil Defence Emergency updates
  • Make a plan – now is a good time to refresh your grab bag (one grab bag per person) and household emergency plan. More info is available on getready.govt.nz/en/prepared/household/
  • Secure any items that could get blown about and cause harm in strong winds
  • Clean drains and gutters, trim any loose tree branches
  • Check on your neighbours and anyone who might need your help.
  • During a weather event, close windows, external and internal doors.  Pull curtains or blinds over unprotected glass areas to prevent injury from shattered or flying glass.
  • Bring pets inside, move stock to shelter.  If you have to evacuate take your pets with you.
  • Limit any unnecessary travel.

 Always put your safety first. Act quickly if you see rising water. Never try to walk, swim or drive through flood water.

 If need be, follow any instructions about evacuation of your area. Self-evacuate if you feel unsafe. 

Find out what to do before, during and after a storm on getready.govt.nz/en/emergency/storms/.

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