Hamilton braves through Cyclone Gabrielle

Waikato ‘Rain radar’ map as of 4.30 pm on Monday (MetService website image)

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, February 13, 2023

School children braved the strong winds and rains during school drop-offs and pickups as Cyclone Gabrielle had its effect visible in Hamilton.

While a number of schools decided to close for the day, many were still running the routine as usual, some even making the most of the day by planning a swim session in the rain for the children.

Several public facilities across Hamilton were shut down for today as a precautionary measure, while the Waipa District Council shut their offices in both Cambridge and Te Awamutu along with the public libraries in the areas.

Council gets ready

Mayor Southgate said, “Council’s teams are monitoring the situation closely, taking proactive steps to reduce the impacts of the weather, and working with response agencies. At the same time, there is a lot our community can do to prepare for what this storm may bring.”

She urged people to check on friends, family and neighbours and follow the latest information from MetService, Civil Defence and Council platforms online.

Eeva-Liisa Wright, General Manager of Infrastructure Operations at Hamilton City Council said, “Small blockages in our stormwater system can occur during periods of heavy or prolonged rain, but we have teams ready to clear blockages and surface flooding and deal with any overflows in the stormwater and wastewater network or fallen trees and branches due to high winds.”

The Thames-Coromandel District Council is asking all residents who are on the council’s public water supplies to conserve water for at least the next 48 hours.

Further Updates for Hamilton residents

  • Kerbside collections which were suspended for Monday will resume on Tuesday.
  • Some public facilities closed on Monday are expected to reopen at midday Tuesday.
  • Hamilton Zoo and Hamilton Gardens are to remain closed on Tuesday.
  • ‘Be safe, stay home’ is the message for all families.
  • Hamilton’s rubbish and recycling collections will be one day later for the remainder of the week.
  • Lincoln Street Resource Recovery Centre and Wickham Street Organic centre will remain open.

Hamilton City Council will put plans in place for when heavy rain and strong wind warnings are expected to be lifted on Tuesday morning.

Road and weather conditions could mean collections maybe later in the day than usual and will be collected into the evening if required.

Some public facilities to reopen

Some public facilities are expected to reopen from midday on Tuesday (14 February) with heavy weather expected to ease by tomorrow morning. This includes Hamilton Libraries, Hamilton Pools (Waterworld and Gallagher Aquatic Centre), Waikato Museum, Animal Education and Control and Council’s reception in Garden Place.

It will be done after the staff ensures that the buildings are safe by undertaking necessary checks and completing any clean-up once the worst of the weather has passed.

Hamilton Zoo and Hamilton Gardens to remain closed

Hamilton Zoo and Hamilton Gardens will remain closed on Tuesday 14 February so staff can undertake any required clean-up jobs. With wind already causing issues across the city, outdoor facilities are expected to take the worst of the damage due to fallen trees and debris. It is hoped they will be ready to reopen on Wednesday 15 February.

Council is asking the community to stay away from the parks and open spaces for the next few days while staff assess damage to buildings, check the safety of trees, and clean up any debris.

Hamilton Airport closes as a safety measure till mid-day on 14 February 2023(Hamilton Airport web image)

Hamilton Airport Closed

The team at Hamilton Airport released a Public message which read, “In the interests of safety for our customers and staff, our airlines have decided to cancel flights in and out of Hamilton Airport due to forecast severe winds associated with Cyclone Gabrielle.
PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE AIRPORT.
All passenger enquiries regarding travel and further updates should be directed to your airline. We are working together to minimise disruption and will endeavour to keep you updated as best we can.”

Be safe, stay home

With the worst of the weather still to hit, Council has advised everyone to stay indoors when possible and keep travel around the city to a minimum.

Strong winds can cause falling trees and other debris. Intense rainfall can result in blockages to roadside drains across the city, causing street flooding and overflows. Please stay out of flood water, take care when out and about and report any issues to Council.

Please make sure you check on your neighbours, friends and whanau and plan a buddy system with another household in case of any emergency or power cuts.

To report any Council weather-related issues including fallen trees and flooding, use the Antenno app in the first instance or call 07 838 6699. If you have an emergency, please ring 111 and ask for fire.

Be prepared, get your emergency plan ready 

Hamiltonians are urged to make sure their household has an emergency plan which covers what steps to take if the power goes out if water supplies are disrupted if you are isolated or even if you have to evacuate. Ensure you have got supplies including food and water for three days.

Residents should secure outside items such as tables and chairs, children’s toys and trampolines which could blow around in high winds.

Important Information

To report any Council weather-related issues including fallen trees and flooding use the Antenno app in the first instance or call 07 838 6699. If you have an emergency, please ring 111 and ask for fire.

To report any power outages or faults, call WEL Energy on 0800 800 935.

For updates on state highways, visit nzta.govt.nz/journeys

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink  reporter based in Hamilton.

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