The aftermath of Cyclone Hale's destruction

By Waimanea Nuri

By Waimanea Nuri, Te Rito journalism cadet.

The eastern side of the North Island, which includes Coromandel, Gisborne and Ruatoria received a significant amount of rain.

Te Tai Rāwhiti was declared under a state of emergency, following the rise of the water levels in the Hikuwai and Waiapu rivers.

Oriwa Atkins from Tokomaru bay expressed her concerns for the roads and whānau who are needing essentials.

“Between Toko (Tokomaru Bay) and T.P (Te Puia), the roads are flooded and dropped down due to what happened from the last big flood we had when the Tokomaru bridge washed away and the Mangahauini Valley was wiped ou. It's alot worse since we can't go to Te Puia.”

She says that Te Tai Rāwhiti has had heavy rain and flooding regularly since last year's floods and is more confident in her whānau to stay safe and out of harm's way.

“I believe that this is just a new experience for the local whānau because the flooding has only recently started to worsen, which is why everyone is starting to panic when there is really no reason to, unless water is already beginning to enter your home."

Graeme Atkins from north of Ruatoria said they couldn’t remember the last time they had two sunny days in a row.

“We just haven't had a summer or a spring, it's been months now, September, we just haven't had any famous east coast summer weather.

“Because we had heavy rain a week prior to this, the ground was already saturated. So what fell out of the sky yesterday just really exaggerated the terrible situation we are in."

Atkins says locals have been trying to evacuate due to the recent weather, but are unable to do so because of the blocked roadways.

“We have started the conversations about our places having to be abandoned because of the roads, but this is the place where we are from.

“We love it here, the fact that we might be forced to move away is not something that I am too keen on doing.”

According to MetService, the tropics are being closely watched by forecasters as signs show active weather conditions that may form next week.

If any tropical weather conditions do appear to be threatening the country, MetService will have all the latest information on their website and social media channels.