Storm Update - Mayor's Comments

21 June 2013

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has praised the workers and volunteers who have toiled in treacherous conditions overnight to help the Wellington area get through the southerly storm.

Mayor Wade-Brown, who is at the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office in Thorndon, says many people involved in the emergency services and civil defence have described the winds as probably the worst to hit the area since the Wahine storm in 1968.

“Workers have been out clearing roads and trees and getting power back on – and they have been working in truly tough and dangerous conditions. I thank them for their huge efforts overnight.

“Our civil defence volunteer response teams – from Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua and Victoria University – have also been doing sterling work to help residents around the area overnight.”

Wellington City Council’s customer contact centre, tel 499 4444, received more than 400 calls for assistance overnight.

Mayor Wade-Brown urges residents to continue to call their local councils to report damage. “We want to know as much as possible about trees down, slips and other damage around the area. Residents are very valuable as our eyes and ears.”

While Wellington City Council is running its usual rubbish and recycling collection service today, Mayor Wade-Brown asks residents, if possible, to not put their rubbish and recycling out. “It is likely to end up being blown all over the neighbourhood.”

She says early inspections have indicated that some of the infrastructure on Wellington’s south coast – between Owhiro Bay and Moa Point – has been battered overnight by huge swells off Cook Strait. This includes damage to the seawall at Island Bay and the seaside roads which have been scoured and covered in large amounts of debris deposited on the seaside roads.

Mayor Wade-Brown urges residents to “take care out there. It is likely there will be a lot of damage that will become obvious during the day. If at all possible, people should think about delaying trips or even staying home.”

Check the WREMOnz Facebook page for further information.