Daybreak to reveal extent of damage in Eastern BOP

updated

The Bay of Plenty, in particular, Whakatāne and surrounding areas, received a thrashing overnight as Cyclone Cook left thousands without power, and caused significant swells and slips, leaving large trees scattered across roads. 

The extent of the damage won't be known until daybreak, as Cook moves towards the South Island. 

The Bay of Plenty Civil Defence says their focus this morning is to assess the impact of last night's events. 

Whakatāne locals are being urged to conserve water until the power is reconnected. Civil Defence says as sewage systems are at capacity, locals should refrain from flushing their toilets. 

They add that access in and out of Whakatāne and Ōpōtiki is blocked by a number of slips and fallen trees and teams are working as quickly as possible to clear these.  

Cyclone Cook heads south. Image/ Metservice.

Wind speeds reached more than 150km/h, and shortly after 3pm, 209km/h winds were recorded at White Island. Twelve meter swells were also recorded just 13km off Pukehina.

Cook's wrath was initially felt at around 6pm and within just an hour, it had reached its peak. 

Just after 9pm the cyclone eased and locals reported that there was an eerie feeling in the air, some saying the silence was "deafening".

Locals were being urged to stay off the roads overnight as they were blocked by power lines and slips. The road from Whakatāne to Ōhope was closed, but reopened at a later time. 

Power company Horizon Energy managed to restore power to some parts of the district, but it soon cut off as the storm worsened. 

To keep up to date with the recovery process in the Bay of Plenty today, you can connect to the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Facebook page and the Whakatāne District Council Facebook page. 

Latest update from the Whakatāne District Council - 6:36am