800 calls to council in storm

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Slip on the Kaimai Range
Slip on the Kaimai Range

UPDATED 3.36pm: Western Bay of Plenty District Council have received about 800 calls from customers since 8am Wednesday and say 95 per cent were weather related.

Group manager of engineering services Gary Allis said road maintenance teams were continuing to work around the clock to clear slips, fallen trees and debris from roads as well as deal with instances of road seal lifting.

"The extreme weather has had a major impact on local roads right across Western Bay, from Pongakawa to Athenree.

"I know our maintenance crews are very appreciative of the courtesy and caution shown by road users, particularly in areas where they're working to get things cleared.

"Our message to all residents over the next couple of days is to take extra care on the roads and, if they can, make sure any debris that may be blocking stormwater grates near their property is cleared."

Mr Allis said so far council infrastructure was coping well.

"While we've had some instances of power failure at some of our pump stations we've been using generators and 'sucker trucks' to keep water, wastewater and storm water systems fully operational.

"At this stage we're not in a position of asking customers to conserve water but we'll be keeping a very close eye on the capacity of reservoirs throughout the district over the next 48 hours."


Storm limits city water supply to 50 per cent

EARLIER: Tauranga City Council is asking residents and businesses to be conservative with their water use over the next few days.

This week's heavy rain has caused problems for the city's water processing plants. Council spokesman Marcel Currin said the rain had fallen more heavily in the water catchment than in the city, loading up the drinking water supply streams with more dirt and silt than the processing plants have been able to cope with.

Rain has also created havoc, closing roads with slips, felled trees, flooding and potholes.

Both of the city's two water processing plants (Oropi Rd and Joyce Rd) have had to be turned off at various times over the past two days. The Oropi plant was closed most of yesterday, he said.

Council staff worked through the night to keep the city's water supply working but both plants were now operating at lower capacity than normal.

Mr Currin said the city's drinking water supply was sitting at around 50 per cent.

This is still a comfortable level but doesn't allow capacity for any unforeseen emergencies, such as a large watermain break or any unusual demands, hence the request for customers to be conservative in their water use over this period, Mr Currin said.

The water supply is expected to be fully restored by Tuesday.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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