Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District Councils are warning people to consider self-evacuating as authorities brace for the remnants of Cyclone Cook, expected to hit the region this afternoon.

Both councils are setting up an emergency operations centre at the Western Bay council building on Cameron Rd.


HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

There is a strong wind warning in place from later today. Severe gales with gusts of 150km/h or more are possible. Coastal areas can expect large waves of five metres or more during this time, with storm surges and possible inundation and coastal erosion.

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If you believe your property may flood or if you're feeling unsafe, please think about moving yourself and your pets to friends or family in other areas.

Residents are urged to secure outdoor furniture and trampolines, and ensure that boats are moored securely. If you need to drive anywhere, watch out for any debris which may have blown onto the roads.


SANDBAGS

• If you think you may need sandbags, and you need fewer than 20, please collect them directly from the Downer depot at The Lakes. If you are physically unable please contact the council and we will arrange delivery, but the first preference is pickup. If you need more than 20 sandbags please also contact the council on 07 577 7000.


RUBBISH AND RECYCLING

•A reminder that there are no kerbside collections today. The council is concerned that as high winds pick up, rubbish bins will create a safety hazard. All waste contractors have been instructed to postpone today's collections until Sunday.
•Friday's collections will be picked up on Saturday.
•Both transfer stations are closed today and Friday.
•Monday collection is planned as normal.
•Te Puke, Rangiuru, Oropi and Pyes Pa's kerbside rubbish collections are cancelled today. The alternative pick-up day is now Sunday, 16 April.
•Also the recycling centres at Katikati, Te Puke and Athenree have been closed due to the expected stormy weather.


SLIPS:
• Four homes in Omokoroa have been evacuated. These were the Omokoroa people whose properties were affected by the slips last week and is a precautionary measure. The Western Bay council is not aware of any more self-evacuations at this stage.

• There is a report of a slip on private property at Hume Road in Katikati. As far the council is are aware there is no threat to the property at this address.

PARKS AND TRACK CLOSURES

•Mauao base track is closed
•Moturiki Island is closed
•We advise people to stay away from all beaches and coastal areas.

ROADS
• Grenada Street between Sandhurst and Hibiscus is closed


OTHER CLOSURES

• All Bay Venues buildings will be closed from 1pm today due to the forecasted severe storm conditions. Bay Venues chief executive Gary Dawson says the decision was made with public and staff safety in mind. Unless otherwise advised all venues will open as scheduled tomorrow.


PEOPLE ARE ADVISED TO:

•clear your gutters and stormwater grates of any debris
•secure outdoor furniture
•have an evacuation plan in place - including for pets - and a supply of fresh food, water and clothes
•stay away from beaches and streams as significant coastal swells are expected
•avoid areas, both below and above, where there have been recent slips as the ground may still be unstable
•avoid travelling when possible. If driving, watch your speed and following distances.


For up to date weather information go to www.metservice.com or listen to your local radio station. For further updates visit councils' websites www.westernbay.govt.nz, www.tauranga.govt.nz or the Bay of Plenty Emergency Management website www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz.