Flooding in Riwaka overnight has closed roads and forced some people from the homes, and a welfare centre is now up-and-running at the Motueka Recreation Centre.
Civil defence response team member Ian Watts says there have been no compulsory evacuations but people have been leaving their homes voluntarily.
“We haven’t had to evacuate anybody, but we have knocked on doors to see if people are ok and if they want to move to the welfare centre,” he says. “It’s important to activate the welfare centre before we need it just in case we do get that influx of people.”
Ian says the flooding is “completely impassable,” and knee-deep in some parts of the township.
He says the worst hit area is around the shopping area and the other side of the Riwaka Hotel and garage to the Kaiteriteri turnoff. There is also some surface flooding in High St Motueka.
“Giving it happened at night it created a bit more urgency for home owners,” he says.
“There was concern at night, and the people we have talked to say the water hadn’t entered their homes, but it was lapping at the door.”
“Most people will be going to families places rather than coming to the welfare centre, but it’s the place to come if they need somewhere,” he says.
The weather forecast is for rain easing and the situation is expected to improve this morning.
Flooding on the North Branch of the Riwaka River has been a 50 year event. Flooding on the South Branch of the Riwaka River has been a 20 year event.
The following roads are currently closed due to flooding and slips:
Motueka River West Bank Road – Slip and Tree down near Blue Gum Corner
Graham Valley Road – Slips
Dovedale Road at summit – Trees down
Brooklyn Valley Road approx 5k in – Slip
Factory Road, Riwaka – Flooding and Tree down
Riwaka Valley Road – Slips/Flooding
Abel Tasman Drive at Wainui – Flooding
Pupu Valley Road – Flooding
One Spec Road – Flooding
Totaranui Road – Flooding
Collingwood-Puponga Main Road – Flooding
Collingwood-Bainham Main Road – Flooding
Takaka Hill Highway – Slips
Takaka Valley Highway at Upper Takaka – Flooding
Takaka-Collingwood Highway at Waitapu Splash – Flooding
Other issues and single lane closures:
Motueka River West Bank near Blueberry Farm – Slip
Motueka High Street, Wratt St, Woodland Ave – Flooding, and vehicles making bow wave causing flooding in properties
Sunrise Valley – Slip
Barton Rd & Higgins Rd Wakefield – Flooding