INDEPENDENT NEWS

Update #1 South Island Heavy Rain Event

Published: Wed 10 Apr 2024 06:45 PM
Fire and Emergency New Zealand is working with West Coast Emergency Management to prepare for the impacts of the heavy rain which has been falling on the West Coast.
Fortunately we haven’t had any 111 calls from people impacted by the weather today, but we urge people to always call 111 if you feel you’re in danger, or if your property is threatened.
Go to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) website or follow West Coast Emergency Management for updates and advice about preparing for floods.
Fire and Emergency has sent extra resources to the West Coast from Canterbury as part of our preparations.
Yesterday a six-person taskforce of firefighters from the Sefton and Rangiora Volunteer Fire Brigades were deployed to Franz Josef and today they have been repositioned at Fox Glacier. They have a four-wheel drive appliance and are able to provide support to the community and our local brigades.
Today we have deployed 15 members of specialist teams to Franz Josef. Eight are members of the Specialist Water Response Team and they will be available for any activities involving water, including rescues.
The other seven are members of Fire and Emergency’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team. Their primary task will be rapid damage assessments, but they are also trained and equipped for search and rescue.
An Assistant Commander and a Volunteer Support Officer have been deployed to Westland.
Our Region Coordination Centre in Christchurch has been fully activated since yesterday to coordinate and support the deployments and manage any other requests.
The slow-moving severe rain event is forecast to shift north to Nelson Tasman on Thursday and then on to the North Island on Friday where heavy rain is predicted for parts of Northland and Coromandel.
Contingency plans are in place to provide extra support for other areas if needed, based on the rainfall predictions. This includes providing extra resources from other parts of the country.
We will provide a further update tomorrow.

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