Communities resilient despite impact of cyclone

Large tree falls- The Strand, Whakatāne. Image/ Radio 1xx News

In a media briefing in Whakatane this morning, mayor Tony Bonne said community spirit got the district through what was a frightening night.

Power has not yet been restored to homes in the Whakatāne District and locals are being urged to conserve water after Cyclone Cook wreaked havoc in the area. 

In a Facebook status, the Whakatāne District Council said that coastal inundation damage has been light and no houses have been impacted.  

People evacuated from all of Ōhope – West End, and parts of Pohutukawa Avenue and Harbour Road can now return to their homes, but they should be aware that their water supply has been impacted.

Because there is no power, residents are being asked to conserve water and to not flush the toilet unless they really need to. 

In a statement by Horizon Energy this morning, they said, "Horizon Networks wishes to advise customers that Cyclone Cook has caused significant damage to power infrastructure supplying the Whakatane, Kawerau and Opotiki districts."

11-year-old Kalani Savage checks up on the damage in Te Teko. Image/ Kim Rameka  

The following areas are without power:

- All areas east of Ohiwa Harbour including Waimana, Waiotahi, Opotiki, Te Kaha and Cape Runaway.

- Ohope, Coastlands, Whakatane, Otakiri, Taneatua, Ruatoki, part of Tauranga Rd east of Matata,

- Matata, Thornton, Manawahe and Herepuru Rd.

- Galatea, Murupara, Minginui and Ruatahuna.

Bonne says there has been significant damage to the infrastructure of power lines in the district and therefore is asking the public to treat all power lines as live. 

Bonne also says that they will be opening the south-western side of flood-stricken Edgecumbe at midday today to allow whānau in to check up on their homes. 

Power outages have affected much of the District. Water and wastewater systems have been seriously affected. 

Key points residents need to know:

  • Conserve water and Don’t Flush notices apply to all areas where power is out.
  • Te Teko has no water. We’re working to have a tanker supply available.
  • Parts of Ōhope and the Hillcrest and Mokorua areas in Whakatāne have no water supply available.
  • Boil water notices still apply to the Rangitaiki Plains, Rūātoki, Te Mahoe and Taneatua
  • Power is out in Whakatāne, Ōhope, Coastlands,
  • No information at this stage on when power will be restored.
  • Multiple road closures due to slips and fallen trees, including SH2 at the Matatā straights. These issues will be dealt with progressively.
  • Rainfall was unexpectedly light – no problems with stormwater systems and river flows.
  • Today’s focus will be on reopening roads and restoring water and wastewater systems to working order. The latter will be dependent on getting power supplies back on to key pump stations.