Some Edgecumbe residents to reoccupy homes today

The Whakatāne District Council says residents from 46 properties in Edgecumbe will reoccupy their houses this morning. 

Properties include those in the south-eastern parts of Edgecumbe including Hydro Road, Nikau Place, Miro Place and Konihi Place. 

The council is looking at reopening further areas of the town which have not been impacted by the flooding as soon as water supplies have been restored and the area has been declared safe. 

Yesterday, residents from more than 300 properties which have not been flooded were able to get assisted access to their homes to pick up essential items.

Efforts to pump water out of the small Eastern Bay town continue. The council's flood response team is managing the movement of the water and is running 17 pumps to relocate the water. The combined pumps are discharging 5,000 litres per second.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council's engineering manager Mark Townsend also says the main breach in the town is secure. 

The Edgecumbe township remains cordoned off to ensure public safety while flood waters are still being managed and pumped away and to protect people from sanitation risks associated with sewage system failures and surface water contamination. 

The Whakatāne District Council says Edgecumbe residents may not be able to return to their homes for up to ten days. 

The council has announced the following;

  • Emergency Civil Defence Centres have been set up in Whakatāne (War Memorial Hall) and Kawerau (Rautahi Marae – Onslow Street) to accommodate displaced residents. It may be up to 72 hours before people will be able to return to their homes to assess the damage.
  • Welfare and evacuation centres do not require any donated goods. Offers of food, clothing and other items can be made by calling the Council on 306 0500. They will take details and connect donations with people if required.
  • The Te Teko/Otakiri Road intersection is flooded and impassable. Police have installed a new cordon on the corner of Powell and Te Teko Roads to prevent traffic from entering Edgecumbe from the south and are asking people to avoid travelling into Edgecumbe from any direction.