Auckland Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson has today declared a state of local emergency as a deluge has hit Tāmaki Makaurau and other parts of the North Island.
Driving conditions are treacherous and the Northern Motorway is closed between Northcote Rd and Esdmonde Rd in both directions.
“This morning, at my request, the Deputy Mayor and I received an urgent phone briefing from Auckland Emergency Management Civil Defence,” Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said in a statement.
“After carefully considering the advice of the Duty Controller I have decided to declare a precautionary State of Local Emergency. The decision is based on the lessons we learnt from the Anniversary Auckland floods.
“While I am assured that emergency services are coping with the volume of call outs at the moment, and that they do not require emergency powers, I consider it is necessary to communicate to the public that this is something to take seriously.
“As I am in Sydney on Council business, I have delegated my responsibilities and powers to Desley Simpson, who is now Acting Mayor until I return,” Brown said.
So what does that mean for you?
For the most part, the state of emergency does not affect daily life.
Schools can open if they are not already and people can go to work as usual.
The state of emergency simply means agencies are able to access some powers they usually do not have.
It means council staff are able to enter buildings at any time during working hours to assess the safety, evacuate people and prohibit the use of the building if it is deemed unsafe - and police have the power to support them in doing that.
Flooding on the Northwestern Motorway in Auckland. Photo / Jason Oxenham
The state of emergency also means that the Civil Defence Emergency Management Group have powers relating to the provision of the relief of distress including emergency food, clothing and shelter.
It allows Fire and Emergency New Zealand to enter any properties and shore up or pull down structures that have been damaged and provide a danger to life or property.
‘We recommend you are extra cautious’
Auckland Council is warning properties next to, above or below properties affected by existing landslides may be at increased risk of further landslides.
The council’s head of engineering resilience Ross Roberts said today’s rain may see further damage.
“In many areas, clifftop properties with existing landslides may encounter further damage.
“If your house has a red ‘entry prohibited’ placard, ensure you’re following the requirement to stay out.
“If your house has a yellow ‘restricted access’ placard, follow the restrictions given on the placard and seriously consider avoiding any entry for the duration of the event.
“If your house is next to a property with a placard, or if you see any signs of instability, or if you are concerned about the stability of the land around your house, we recommend you are extra cautious during this likely severe weather event and you may want to consider finding alternative accommodation during heavy rain.”
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