New Zealand – Roads Closed, Homes Evacuated After Floods in Gisborne

Another spell of torrential rain has caused flooding in New Zealand, closing roads and promoting evacuations on the East Coast of North Island. Severe flooding last month caused widespread damage in the South Island region of Canterbury.

Floods in Gisborne District, New Zealand, June 2021. Photo: Gisborne District Council

Gisborne Civil Defence said that serious flooding in Tokomaru Bay has forced some families to self-evacuate. The State Highway SH35 north and south of Tokomaru Bay is closed. Gisborne District Council said at least 4 other roads have been washed out or blocked by landslips. Local media said flooding has damaged a bridge and roads in Waipiro Bay, isolating around 15 houses.

Flooding was also reported along the Wharekahika River. Civil Defence said some families have self-evacuated and teams were working with those families along with Police and Fire and Emergency.

As of 20 June Civil Defence said flood waters were receding, but conditions remain extremely dangerous and urged people to avoid unnecessary travel.

At least 9 locations across the district saw more than 100mm of rain fall in 24 hours to 20 June. Waikura Valley recorded 185.50 mm during this period. Further rain is forecast for some locations.