Impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle only starting to be felt across Auckland

Publish Date : 13 Feb 2023
Cath Hand OA

Cyclone Gabrielle has made landfall in Aotearoa and Auckland Emergency Management is urging people to prepare for further serious and severe weather across Auckland in the coming days.

“The impact of Gabrielle is still in its early stages,” says Auckland Emergency Management Deputy Controller Rachel Kelleher. “Now is not a time for complacency. Things will get worse before they get better. Please follow the advice from official channels, keep informed of updates, be prepared to leave if you need to and look out for one another.”

There were 27 Civil Defence Centres and Shelter sites that opened last evening, with eight sites housing people overnight. The sites were opened across Tamaki Makaurau for individuals and families who need to leave their homes and are not able to stay with friends or family. A further 12 community-led centres are being run by community groups at local marae and churches.

The lines companies have reported that thousands of homes are without power across the upper North Island, including in north Auckland. They are working quickly to restore power where they can, however further power outages can be expected.

Auckland Transport is still urging people to avoid all non-urgent travel today and tomorrow. The Auckland Harbour Bridge has been reopened this morning, however AT is advising that the situation is fluid and it could close again at any time if the wind rises. We need to expect other road closures.

Auckland Council has closed all its non-essential services across the region today and tomorrow, and Rachel advises anyone travelling today to plan for things to change.

There is a high risk of coastal inundation and storm surge on the high tide overnight Monday and into the early hours of Tuesday morning. People are asked to stay away from the coast.

“We would remind everyone that this bad weather is likely to worsen already-saturated ground conditions and further instability. Please keep an eye out for landslips, take extra precautions, and if you have any safety concerns at all, please consider finding alternate accommodation.”

“We are working very closely with the NZ Defence Force, which has brought in personnel that are stationed across Northland, Auckland, Coromandel and other regions at risk. They have been working hard to deliver welfare stores to civil defence centres and shelters, and they’ll be available to help with evacuations over the coming days if required.”

Rachel urges people to keep checking the Auckland Emergency Management website and social media channels for useful information to get prepared, including advice for if your power goes out. She reminds people to have torches and batteries, a radio, a camp stove or BBQ, and to keep phones charged.

“Please check on neighbours, friends and whānau that might need your help.”

“We’re expecting this weather to get worse before it gets better. Please follow all advice, look after each other, and make sure you have a plan for what to do.”

“We know that this is an anxious time for many. Let’s focus on what’s immediately in front of us and we’ll get through it together,” Rachel concludes.

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