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Care urged as flooding in Tokomaru Bay recedes

State Highway 35 remained closed at Kaiawha Bridge, Tokomaru Bay, this morning after heavy rain pelted the district.

Civil Defence monitored the situation closely as evacuations took place in low lying areas of Tokomaru Bay. There was also major surface flooding on State Highway 35 between Tolaga Bay and Gisborne.

With debris on the road, and contractors assessing any damage, people are advised to undertake essential travel only up the Coast, and drive to the conditions.

Metservice have forecast the rain to ease from 1pm, with the deep low that brought the heavy rain already moving out to sea.

Surface flooding had also started to recede at around 10.30 this morning.

More coverage in tomorrow's Gisborne Herald.

For up to date on highway information visit: https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/regions/5

State highway 35 Tokomaru Bay this morning. Photo by Tui Mārama Keenan
Tokomaru Bay this morning. Waka Kotahi picture
Surface flooding was an issue in Tokomaru Bay this morning. The Gisborne District Council warned motorists driving conditions may be hazardous. Photo by Hoana Forrester
Flood waters in Tokomaru Bay at 8am had receded within hours, but caution is still advised.
At 11am the Gisborne District Council facebook page said its contractor were still out checking roads due to the widespread flooding across the region this morning. "As far as we know these are the local roads that are impassable at 11am: Anaura Road, Waiomatatini Road, Walker Road and Tuparoa Road. Be aware of possible further rainfall and slippery and dangerous road conditions," the GDC said.
The Uawa Civil Defence urged residents to be prepared, have emergency kits ready, and a whanau safety plan in place. "If you think you might have to move, do it before the situation escalates. Let someone know where you will go and stay there until it is safe to return home. Don't travel the Coast roads unless it is really important. There is flooding at Rototahi and Tokomaru Bay," it said.