Wellington at risk of more floods and slips from incoming weather bomb

By Melissa Nightingale

A vehicle negotiates floodwaters across State Highway One at the Plimmerton Roundabout north of Wellington on Tuesday. Photo/Mark Mitchell.
A vehicle negotiates floodwaters across State Highway One at the Plimmerton Roundabout north of Wellington on Tuesday. Photo/Mark Mitchell.

The Wellington region could once again face slips, flooding, and further road closures as bad weather approaches for the second time this week.

Road closures isolated sections of the region on Tuesday when heavy rain rolled in, flooding parts of state highways and bringing down slips.

With thunderstorm risks and heavy rains watches for tonight and tomorrow, Wellington Region Emergency Management regional manager Bruce Pepperell said there was "a very real risk" of the same thing happening again.

"We're very mindful of it," he said.

With the ground being "quite saturated", there was a likelihood further moisture could result in slips and "probably some roaring rivers".

The team would be monitoring the weather overnight.

"We will be ready to swing into action, yet again," he said. "We've got some staff on overnight".

Pepperell said there was "still quite a bit of action down here in Wellington city with cordons and suspect buildings and stuff like that".

"I think in circumstances like this we just need to plan for the worst and hope for the best. We've coped so far, albeit it's been a bit tight at times."

The incoming weather "will likely result in a degree of inconvenience for people and just requires people to go about their business with a sense of humour".

The weather could once again impact on transport routes, he said.

"We still have some routes that are unable to be navigated through, for a variety of reasons. Most are pretty close to a hundred per cent."

There was "a little bit" they could do to try to prevent flooding, such as stock up on sandbags, but "each event is always slightly different".

"You don't get two rain events the same. You get some consequences that are similarish but they have a different flavour to them. You want to try and be proactive but in reality you've got to know what you're actually facing first."

Pepperell was "just really impressed by the resilient nature of not only our infrastructure so far but the people".

"These sorts of things bring out the best and the worst in people. We've seen some amazing generosity of spirit amongst people helping others. ​

"We've just taken what Mother Nature's dished up on the chin and we're doing our best to bounce back."

- NZ Herald

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