1 Feb 2023

Watch: Auckland Emergency Management 1 February update on flooding

3:40 pm on 1 February 2023

The weather risk is decreasing as the day goes on, but some warnings and watches remain in place in other regions in Aotearoa, emergency officials say.

Auckland emergency officials this afternoon gave an update on the flooding situation in the city after another night of heavy rain.

The city is still under a state of emergency and 542 properties have been yellow-stickered and 138 red-stickered.

An update is expected on Friday morning regarding the state of emergency.

Auckland Emergency Management duty controller Rachel Kelleher said it may be that while weather is improving, because of the sodden ground and potential for slips, they may need access to those powers so they could respond where necessary.

With schools now able to open on Thursday, individual schools would each be providing updates to their relevant communities, she said.

Heavy rains and winds had eased on Wednesday afternoon, she said.

No warnings and watches in place were in place for the region but there could be isolated showers and potentially thunderstorms between 12pm and 8pm, mainly west in Piha.

Some road closures remained and were still affecting the network, including public transport. Check the state of the roads on AT's website.

Auckland Transport had about 500 staff out scoping any road issues.

There were 612 flood-damaged cars that had been removed and 194 were still to be collected.

Fire and Emergency had 90 calls last night, including 57 emergency calls.

Fire and Emergency regional manager Ron Devlin said Tuesday night's weather was not as bad as they expected.

The crew had responded on Wednesday afternoon to an incident on the Awhitu Peninsula at Manukau Heads, where they found a property had crashed down the bank on to the beach.

Search and rescue personnel were brought in by hovercraft and helicopter to free one person who was trapped. Devlin said it was a difficult rescue operation because the trapped person was a metre below tide line.

St John's Ambulance said two people had been airlifted to Middlemore Hospital in a serious condition, and one person with minor injuries was taken to hospital by ambulance.

State of buildings

Auckland Council building services manager Ian McCormick said 190 inspectors and compliance have been out assessing buildings along with support from various other agency staff.

More resources from other regions was expected in the next few days.

About 700 to 1000 assessments are being done per day, and they planned to have all done by the end of this week. On properties, 168 have been red-stickered, 687 yellow-stickered, 1140 white-stickered.

"We're currently looking at probably what is the largest deployment of rapid building assessment exponents since the Christchurch earthquake emergency."

A designation under the Building Act has been obtained, which will allow assessors to keep some powers even after the state of emergency ends.

A restriction on non-essential building inspections will be extended as staff are busy doing flood-damaged work.


Te Whatu Ora said it was safe to assume all flood water was contaminated and precautions should be taken.

If you have been affected by flood water, clean out, dry and disinfect all items and surfaces that flood water may have come into contact with. Open up your house to dry as much as possible and ventilate.

You can also reduce the risk by wearing closed shoes, masks and gloves.

Support and weather easing

NEMA national operations manager and national controller Roger Ball said the weather risk was decreasing as the day went on, but some warnings and watches remain in place in other regions in Aotearoa.

"Although we've got this respite ... please do take the opportunity to have conversations about your readiness and preparedness for emergency events in your neighbourhood."

As the weather eases, changes are expected to the Civil Defence evacuation centres but they will continue to be open and provide support.

The focus is to transfer them into temporary accommodation, Kelleher said. "We don't want people staying there long term, we to find them alternatives."

Kelleher said they have heard from a lift and escalator company that there are a number out of action in Auckland due to flood waters. She encouraged people who struggled accessing services due to these lift outages to contact Auckland Emergency Management for support.

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