Mayor Wayne Brown has tonight declared a state of local emergency in the Auckland region.
“This declaration reflects the extent of damage, displacement and disruption caused by this evening’s severe weather event and enables emergency services and response agencies to draw on resources, and enact additional powers, to assist affected Aucklanders,” says Mayor Brown.
The region has experienced widespread damage from flooding and torrential rain, with reports of slips and inundation. Infrastructure and emergency services alike have been overwhelmed by the impacts of the storm.
The declaration of state of local emergency comes into force immediately and expires in seven days.
Mayor Brown has been closely monitoring the situation in his office all evening and has received continuous updates on the situation from Auckland Emergency Management, including the Duty Controller and his team. The declaration was signed immediately following formal advice from the Duty Controller of Auckland Emergency Management that it was required.
Mayor Brown is urging residents affected by flooding to stay safe and take advice from emergency responders.
“We want to make sure that all residents are kept informed, and emergency services are able to reach those who are most vulnerable and at risk as quickly as possible. Do not put yourself at risk,” he says.
Mayor Wayne Brown addresses media
Good evening everyone. I have a brief statement to make.
Tonight, at about 9.30pm, I declared a state of local emergency in the Auckland region.
I did so immediately after receiving advice from the Auckland Emergency Management Duty Controller that this step should be taken, following the request from emergency services including Police, Fire and Emergency and St Johns.
Thousands of Auckland emergency workers are putting themselves at risk across the region tonight. My declaration reflects the gravity of situation caused by this evening’s severe weather event and enables those emergency services and response agencies to draw on resources and gives them additional powers to assist affected Aucklanders. In particular, the declaration enables them to carry out evacuation procedures.
I’ve been in my office this whole evening and have been receiving constant updates on the situation from Auckland Emergency Management, including the Duty Controller Andrew Clark next to me. I’ve also been in regular contact with the Minister for Emergency Management , Kieran McAnulty, and I appreciate his support.
As noted, I made this declaration of an emergency immediately upon receiving the official advice from the Duty Controller that I do so, which came through following the request from emergency services. It would not have been appropriate for me to act before that point. As mayor, I see it is my job is to support our emergency services and our controller to do their job.
I have received reports that someone has lost their life during this event. I am deeply saddened by that. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family of that person.
This is going to be a horrible night for thousands of Auckland families. My thoughts are with those Aucklanders affected, including many of those who have been evacuated from their homes and have a hard night ahead. Our emergency services are working as hard as possible for you.
I want to thank our emergency services and the team here for their hard work and dedication in what I know are very difficult circumstances.
I am urging residents affected by the flooding to help by staying safe, staying home if possible and taking advice from emergency responders.
We want to make sure that all residents are kept informed, and emergency services are able to reach those who are most vulnerable and at risk as quickly as possible. Do not put yourself or them at risk.
I will now pass it on to Duty Controller Andrew Clark before we take any questions.
Auckland Emergency Management Duty Controller addresses media
Good evening, my name is Andrew Clark and I am Auckland Emergency Management’s duty Controller.
Earlier this evening, following an afternoon of monitoring a volatile weather system heading towards Auckland, I activated Auckland Emergency Management’s Emergency Coordination Centre.
Our team has this evening worked alongside emergency services and partner agencies from across Auckland to respond to what has been a devastating storm event that has wreaked havoc on many of our communities.
As Mayor Brown has said, that work, and the impact of the storm, has culminated in a declaration of a state of local emergency.
We don’t yet know the full impact of this storm event, including how many people have had to leave their homes or have sustained lasting damage.
Continued efforts through the night, and daylight tomorrow, will help us get a clearer picture.
In the meantime, it’s important that we focus on helping those that need us right now.
Civil defence centres are being set up – one is already in place in Kelston, and we’re working on standing up a further site on the north shore and one in south Auckland. These centres will be space for respite and a step to finding alternative accommodation for those that need it.
We know that many people are being helped by friends and whanau – it’s situations like this where communities come together to help each other out, and we’ve already seen and heard many magnificent examples of this.
Lastly, I’d like to make a call out to people with neighbours or whanau who might be on their own, vulnerable or need help. Please check they’re ok and keep in touch over the next few days as the clean-up begins.
We’ll be providing updates via Auckland Emergency Management’s social media channels and communicating through the media. Please make sure you stay up to date on any new developments.