New Zealand – Evacuations After Rivers Flood in Hawke’s Bay

Several people have been evacuated after flooding in Hawke’s Bay Region, New Zealand.  Hawke’s Bay regional council said, “The rain has been pretty torrential and the river levels are high. The Eskdale area is suffering badly with flooding and many people are self-evacuating.”

New Zealand’s Met Service said an area of low pressure brought heavy rain to eastern parts of the North Island but will move away tomorrow, allowing rain to gradually ease.

Some areas recorded 50 mm in 1 hour. As much as 275 mm of rain fell in just 12 hours in Rissington, near Napier. The heavy rain caused river levels to rise rapidly and the Mangaone and Esk rivers both burst their banks.

Mangaone River at Rissington, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Image: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council
Esk River at Berry Road near Te Pohue, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Image: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group said early on Thursday, 08 March:

“We have been experiencing some pretty heavy rain which is set to continue through today. The Esk River is at high levels and rising. Properties in the immediate vicinity of the river should be vigilant through the day of possible flooding. Bay View police are aware of the situation, and we are informing the campground and Hukarere School. We are also hearing of possible floodings around the Tutaekuri too, so HBRC are looking at the river levels in this area as well. We will keep you posted if the situation worsens but in the meantime steer clear of the river berms.”

State Highways 5 and 2 were closed for a short period. A number of local roads are still closed or down to one lane.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group warned:

“Please stay away from the rivers areas as they are flowing dangerously fast. The ground near the rivers is likely to be unstable and vehicles can become stuck.”