Warning issued for 5m swell

By Alice Lockalice lock@hbtoday co nz -
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Clifton Beach last night where swells are expected to strike the coast today. Photo: Duncan Brown
Clifton Beach last night where swells are expected to strike the coast today. Photo: Duncan Brown

A marine warning has been issued as swells of five-and-a-half metres are expected to hit Hawke's Bay coast this morning.

Gale force winds of up to 90km and south-westerly swells were forecast for the region, MetService meteorologist Peter Little said.

MetService had issued a marine warning for south of Cape Kidnappers and east of Mohaka.

"The combination of gales and large swells would produce some dangerous conditions for these areas," Mr Little said.

He said there could be a chance of coastal erosion and inundation during high tides which is at 10.25am today.

Conditions were not expected to ease until tomorrow evening.

Clifton Beach Reserve Motor Camp manager Bob Pollock was not yet concerned by the large swell warning.

"Because it was a southwesterly it should leave us pretty well protected."

They had not received a warning from Civil Defence but said they were prepared if conditions did cause havoc.

"If something comes of it I would be the first to let them know and tell residents to move away from dangerous areas," Mr Pollock said.

The last time they had to evacuate the holiday camp was when Cyclone Pam came through Hawke's Bay last year.

"Even when we evacuated we did not have much damage so fingers crossed," Mr Pollock said.

Wairoa District Council Civil Defence officer Tim Allan said they were keeping watch on Mahia and were also prepared for the conditions. "It is important to be aware and we have a contractor in the area who will be monitoring the situation."

A Hawke's Bay Regional Council spokesman said staff were keeping an eye on the situation but at this stage were not too concerned.

"If the swells do increase to a higher level we will work with the Hastings District Council and the property owners to manage the situation."

Emergency management would also be available if required and they would do drive-bys and check everyone was being looked after.

Heavy rain with possible thunder and hail would also hit Hawke's Bay today and temperatures would reach just 11C. Mr Little said showers would continue through tomorrow but the southerly should gradually ease.

The weekend would bring brighter weather with showers clearing on Saturday and temperatures rising. "Sunday will be the next fine day with a high of 16C and sunny spells."

The New Zealand Transport Agency were also warning drivers to take extra care when driving on the State Highway 1 Desert Rd and the State Highway 5 Napier to Taupo Road from today onwards.

These conditions were expected to clear through the weekend but the cold weather may keep the icy conditions.

They advised road users to check the latest weather and road updates before they started their journey.

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