Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Cyclone Cook may be worst storm since Wahine disaster in 1968

Live: Cyclone Cook weather could be the worst since 1968

12 April, 2017

Metservice is warning people to take heed of weather warnings saying conditions could be similar to those experienced during Cyclone Giselle which contributed to the Wahine disaster in 1968.

The country is being warned to prepare for damaging gales, enormous storm and surges and widespread flooding as Cyclone Cook bears down, threatening to plunge regions into chaos.
Although the cyclone has since been downgraded to a extra tropical low but it is still expected to carry a big punch.
Severe weather warnings have been issued in parts of the country as heavy started to pound Auckland this afternoon. There have been several reports of flooding around the city already.
The MetService has put out a heavy rain warning for Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Waikato, Waitomo, Mt Taranaki, Tongariro NP, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond and Bryant Ranges, North Otago, Dunedin and Clutha.
Meteorologist Andy Best said he was worried people weren't heeding warnings.
He said he'd been working as a forecaster at MetService for about 20 years, and had never seen an event like this one.
"This a very dramatic event."
He said the last weather event to have similar conditions was Cyclone Giselle, which hit New Zealand in 1968 and contributed to the Wahine disaster.
The sinking of the Lyttelton-Wellington ferry Wahine on April 10, 1968 was New Zealand's worst modern maritime disaster, claiming more than 50 lives.
This afternoon Thames-Coromandel District Council Mayor Sandra Goudie has declared a civil defence emergency for the district. Waikato Civil Defence has warned residents to stock up on enough food and water for seven days.
Aucklanders are being told to reconsider travel plans and warned to expect gusts of 140km/hr and possible disruptions to transport, particularly ferries and flights, tomorrow.
Great Barrier Islanders are being warned to brace for the worst weather they've seen in recent times.
Auckland Civil Defence head of emergency management operations Aaron Davis said
"The rain, combined with severe wind and coastal storm surge, could create extreme impacts for Great Barrier Island," said Davis.

is waiting in the wings until tomorrow, there is significant rain affecting a lot of NZ right now.

    2 hours ago
    What to expect

    According to WeatherWatch, rain, especially heavy in Western Bay of Plenty, Coromandel Peninsula and Eastern Northland. Rain with heavy falls spreads into many other North Island regions. South Islanders have rain also, becoming heavy in the north in the afternoon then tracking southwards during the evening, especially in the north and east.

    By Friday morning Cook the storm will be centred near Christchurch if current modelling stays true.  Downpours may be intense in South Canterbury and coastal Otago for a time on Friday morning. Rain may ease in Northland and Auckland by evening.
    • 15 minutes ago
      Climate Controls Companies Association NZ spokesman Matthew Darby says: “Many people may not understand the need to replace flood-damaged air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment.

      "From their point of view, their [air-conditioning], heating or refrigeration system has dried out and appears to be fully operational. 

      ''However, damage is not always going to be apparent.

      "We advise people to play it safe and replace, rather than repair flood-damaged heating, cooling and water heating equipment.''
      • 17 minutes ago
        The Climate Controls Companies Association NZ is advising homes and businesses to take important safety measures with regards to heating and cooling systems.

        Buildings exposed to flooding and water damage can affect heaters, furnaces, boilers, air-conditioning, ventilation, heat pump and refrigeration systems - putting people at risk.
        • 38 minutes ago
          Tapapakanga Regional Park remains closed.
          • 38 minutes ago
            If you’re planning to go mountain biking, tramping or walking in any regional parks – check conditions and weather forecasts before you go and make sure you’re well prepared for the conditions. If you’re heading out in the Waitakere Ranges, drop in to the Arataki Visitor Centre first for advice on conditions.
            • 40 minutes ago
              Auckland Civil Defence Head of Emergency Management Operations Aaron Davis says contractors are on standby and the council has checked in with emergency services, utilities companies and lifelines providers.
              “I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to keep an eye on the weather forecasts over the next few days and prepare to adjust your plans if the weather continues to deteriorate.

              “Looking out for neighbours, friends and family will also be important, especially if you live, work or travel in an area that is prone to flooding, slips or power outages,” he says.  
              • 41 minutes ago
                Cyclone Cook closes 94 schools and 129 North Island early learning centres
                “All 57 schools and about 80 ECEs in the Eastern Bay of Plenty have been contacted and advised to close tomorrow. Another 13 schools and 16 ECEs on Great Barrier Island, Waiheke and in the Franklin area, and a further 24 schools and 33 ECEs in Thames and Coromandel have also been contacted and advised to close tomorrow – meaning they will all be closed until the end of the school holidays,” says Ministry of Education’s deputy secretary of Sector Enablement and Support Katrina Casey.
                • 42 minutes ago
                  Kawakawa Bay/Orere Point
                  People in the Kawakawa Bay and Orere Point areas in Auckland’s south east – two areas already battered by previous weather events – are being warned they may again be isolated by road and be without power or phone for a substantial amount of time.
                  • an hour ago

                  Thames-Coromandel District Council Mayor, Sandra Goudie has declared a civil defence emergency for the district.
                  4:43 PM - 12 Apr 2017
                  Transport authorities urged drivers to stay alert and to keep a safe travelling distance.
                  Air New Zealand also sent out an advisory to passengers to keep updated via its website about any flights that may be affected by the ex-cyclone.
                  Many places will see a month's worth of rain fall in the space of a day, while damaging gales wreak havoc.
                  Conditions are expected to be so hazardous MetService is advising people to seriously consider altering Easter travel plans.
                  The flood-ravaged Bay of Plenty is already in a state of emergency as Cyclone Cook advances closer to our shores.
                  The Ministry of Education has advised all schools and early learning centres in the Eastern Bay of Plenty to remain closed and says there will be further closures in the Franklin area, Great Barrier Island, Waiheke Island, Thames and Coromandel.
                  At total of 94 schools and 129 North Island early learning centres will be affected.
                  The MetService is warning after severe flooding in Bay of Plenty last week that the region is looking to be one of the worst hit areas, with up to 250mm of rain expected to fall in the next two days.
                  To complicate matters Cook is likely to dump huge amounts of rain at the end of the week, prolonging the rain falling in already devastated areas.
                  The Easter storm is unwelcome news for many Edgecumbe residents who remain unable to return to their homes swamped in last week's floods. Others living in rural areas are still cut off.
                  Meanwhile, Whakatane residents flooding a local supermarket and panic-buying groceries are being told there's absolutely no need to do so.

                  A Foodstuffs spokesperson says there's been a Facebook post in the Whakatane area, claiming that the Pak'n Save is shutting at midday because of the storm. She says this is not true, the supermarket is open for business as usual and will not be closing early.

                  The supermarket is also bringing in extra supplies to help storm-affected residents.

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