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Water company making emergency plans for arrival of cyclone

News from Wellington Water
Wellington people should get prepared ahead of Cyclone Gita’s arrival in New Zealand. Potential pathways for the cyclone could see heavy rain and wind pummelling the Wellington region on Tuesday, and Wellington Water plans to activate its emergency operations centre to monitor the situation.

“Right now we’re checking known trouble spots such as culvert and drain intakes that can get blocked, and organising standby crews,” said Gary O’Meara, general manager of Network and Customer Operations for Wellington Water.

“It’s also important for people to do what they can as well.

“Check and clear your gutters and drains, and have a look at the street drain nearest your house. Clear any litter or leaf debris. A blockage here can end up creating a major problem.

“Surface water will take the lowest pathway on its way to the sea. If you have a low point on your property, is it vulnerable to flooding or overloaded house guttering? Take some time on the weekend to prepare for a deluge; that could mean investing in a few sandbags or perhaps lifting boxes off the garage floor.”

Mr O’Meara also suggests people think about a contingency plan, including possible working from home in case of school closures.

“Back in November 2016, just after the Kaikoura earthquake, heavy rain closed both State highways, highway 58 and the rail network. At the same time, we had schools closing and parents trying to pick up children, along with service crews trying to help out. It was mayhem.

“It may not happen, and that would be great, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Keep an eye on forecasts on Sunday and through the week and plan ahead.”

Mr O’Meara had one final message. “Stay out of flood water. There’s a risk of manhole lids coming loose and we’d hate for anyone to be injured.”