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It’s time to get ready for Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle – Auckland Council

Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle news
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Auckland Emergency Management is advising that all Aucklanders take the coming days to get ready for the arrival of Cyclone Gabrielle from Sunday night.

Auckland Emergency Management’s Deputy Controller Rachel Kelleher says it’s great to see the efforts that many are already taking to personally prepare for the incoming weather. “Now is not the time to be complacent. We still have sufficient time to prepare, and we ask that people use this time wisely and calmly.”

“The GetReady website is a great resource for people to check out, with plenty of helpful information on how people can prepare for a storm.

“With strong winds expected, we ask that people ensure things are tied down and put away – from outdoor furniture to trampolines.

“I would also like to acknowledge the immense efforts of all those who have been working swiftly and steadily to assist Aucklanders following last month’s event.

“We also thank those who have come from other regions across Aotearoa New Zealand to assist in the response effort for Tāmaki Makaurau – we couldn’t have done it without you.”

Deputy Controller Rachel Kelleher concludes by urging people to keep up-to-date with the latest information on official channels including aem.org.nz, and continue to take all steps necessary to be personally prepared for the weather ahead.

Key information

Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle

Based on current information, MetService advises that the Auckland region can expect to feel the first effects of Cyclone Gabrielle from Sunday night, with the most severe weather impacts expected on Monday and Tuesday.

Current modelling shows that despite a slight eastward shift in the track of the system, there will still be significant impacts on the Auckland region. More detailed information regarding the tracking of the cyclone and localised effects will be released on Sunday.

Wind will be a significant issue, this combined with the saturated ground conditions may cause the downing of trees and powerlines, and travel routes may be impacted.

Significant rain is expected across the region on Monday and Tuesday, with around 300mm currently forecasted for Aotea Great Barrier Island and north Auckland and 1-200mm for the rest of the region.

Dangerous sea conditions, with heavy swells north of Whangaparoa from Monday into Tuesday. Sea surges on the east coast may eventuate depending on how the cyclone tracks.

How Aucklanders can prepare

  • Take action today before the bad weather arrives.
  • The GetReady website is a great resource for people to check out, with lots of information and tips for how people can prepare for a storm.
  • Think about your family members, pets and belongings – be prepared to leave if you need to, and have enough supplies to sustain yourself for up to three days
  • If you are reliant on prescription medication, it is worth ensuring you have enough supplies to get you through next week
  • Tie down all loose items in your backyards and around your property or take them inside. That includes trampolines and outdoor furniture.
  • Clean out your spouting and check for loose roofing iron and tiles – fasten it down before the storm
  • Check in with family, friends and neighbours and see who needs a hand If you can, please take any flood-damaged items to one of Auckland Council’s 15 drop off facilities before Sunday and refrain from putting any additional items out on the kerb for collection
  • Ensure kerbs and drains on and around properties are clear of debris before Sunday evening if it safe to do so – or report them to Auckland Council on 0800 22 22 00.

Sandbags

  • Many Aucklanders are looking for ways to prevent new or additional damage to property. Sandbagging is one of the ways to minimise the impacts of water damage, however it’s important to understand their limitations also.
  • If you think sandbags will help reduce the impact of flooding at your place, get ready now. Sandbags and sand can be purchased from hardware suppliers, and Auckland Emergency Management has a limited supply available for collection only.
  • Three sandbagging stations will be open from 8am to 8pm, or as long as we have stocks available on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 February at Mairangi Bay, St Heliers, and Westgate.
  • Information on how to correctly use sandbags can be found on the Auckland Emergency Management website aem.org.nz.
  • Sandbags are available for those who want to use them from hardware stores, or a limited number will be available from the following stations.
  • Windsor Park Baptist Church, 540 East Coast Bays Road, Mairangi Bay 0630
  • Glover Park, Glover Road, St Heliers 1071
  • 13-15 Westgate Drive, Westgate 0614

Once the storm hits

  • Stay off the roads. That reduces your risk of being trapped by flooding or by fallen trees and powerlines.
  • Don’t drive or ride through floodwater – it’s hard to judge the depth or see hidden objects and you risk being swept away or your vehicle stalling.
  • Please help Auckland Council get to the people who need them most. This means only calling 111 if life is at risk – for example if you or others are trapped and need rescue – if there is a fire – if there is a landslide – if you need to evacuate and you can’t get out safely by yourself.
  • Auckland Council always give priority to calls where life and safety is at risk. Please keep the 111 phonelines free for the people who need help urgently.

Red and yellow-stickered buildings

  • If your house has a red “entry prohibited” sticker, it is essential that you stay away from your property for your safety and the safety of your family. Further instability is highly possible as a result of the expected weather event.
  • If your house has a yellow “restricted access” placard, it’s important that you follow the restrictions given on the placard and seriously consider avoiding any entry for the duration of the event at least.
  • There is the potential for new landslides to occur and for existing landslides to reactivate.
  • If your house is next to properties that have a placard, if you see any signs of instability, or if you’re concerned about the stability of the land around your house, we recommend you are extra cautious during this event.
  • Landslides often show warning signs before they occur. Common signs include new cracking or movement of the ground, new cracks appearing inside the house, unusual sounds such as trees cracking, pavements sinking, or new debris on or around your house.
  • If you are concerned about landslides, consider finding alternative accommodation during heavy rain.

Preparations underway

  • Auckland Emergency Management is working to open an increased number of centres across the region for people to take shelter if they need to evacuate, when the severe weather hits.
  • The addresses of the evacuation centres will be published on www.aem.org.nz.
  • The council’s Waste Solutions team is working with the New Zealand Defence Force to clear items and belongings removed from kerbsides across the region as quickly as possible to ensure these don’t cause further issues in the event of further flooding
  • Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters operations teams and contractors are working hard to maintain the region’s stormwater network while preparing for more severe weather.
  • Work continues clearing hot spots and blockages around catchpits and inlet grilles and removing debris from streams and waterways.
  • Auckland Emergency Management continues to respond to thousands of requests for service since last month’s floods.

Auckland Transport

  • Auckland transport is urging all Aucklanders to keep up to date with road closures and public transport information via at.govt.nz and the AT app.
  • Fifteen roads remain closed and AT are publishing an extensive list of vulnerable roads on their website.
  • AT and Waka Kotahi will be monitoring wind conditions before making any decisions around Harbour Bridge restrictions or closures.
  • Barriers and signage are there to protect you and others, please respect any road closures.

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