Whakatane District residents are urged to remain prepared, with Cyclone Cook looking set to hit the district around midnight.

While the current trajectory looks set to send Cyclone Cook more towards the Western Bay of Plenty residents are still urged to expect a significant downpour (100ml), strong winds (150kph), large swells and storm surges.

As soil in the district remains saturated from the previous cyclone all residents are advised to:

  • Have an evacuation plan ready – especially if you live in a seaside, hilltop or flood prone area
  • Have a supply of fresh food and enough clean water for three days ready to go
  • Clear gutters and storm water grates of any debris
  • Full sandbags are also available for residents from Tracks Concrete, 19 Arawa Road, Whakatane, or by calling 07 307 0581
  • If a public evacuation is necessary fire sirens will start operating around the district and Civil Defence centres set up at:

o    War Memorial Hall – 7 Hall Street, Whakatāne

o    Rautahi Marae – 117 Onslow Street, Kawerau

For Edgecumbe residents already displaced due to the flood:

  • All houses affected by the floods have now been inspected.
  • Assisted access to cordoned areas Zones 3 and 4 was suspended at 3pm due to the cyclone. Residents will be advised when access is available again
  • All day tomorrow (April 13) Building Officers will open an information centre at the Awakeri Events Centre with Insurance advisors to answer questions and queries regarding houses in Edgecumbe
  • At this stage all Whakatāne River stop banks are secure, with ongoing monitoring being undertaken
  • If there is a need for further evacuations because of the weather, we will issue warnings as soon as possible. Edgecumbe residents will be alerted to any evacuations by fire station sirens sounding continuously and by emergency services vehicles driving round with sirens on.

Keep up to date by listening to local radio stations (1XX, Sun Fm and Tumeke FM) as well as signing up for Bay of Plenty Civil Defence text alerts by texting WH (Whakatane) or KA (Kawerau) to 2028.

People can also follow the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bopcivildefence or visit the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence website at www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz for information about how to get ready before an event.