The NZ Transport Agency says many roads have closed or remain closed in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.



State Highway 34 is closed at Otakiri between Edgecumbe and Te Teko because of fallen power lines.



State Highway 30 between Thornton Rd and Awakeri is closed because of fallen power lines.



State Highway 2 near Pikowai camping ground on the Matata straight is closed because of fallen tree and powerlines. It will remain closed tonight. If people are evacuating and they are east of Pikowai they can use State Highway 2, 34 and 30. If they are west of Pikowai they need to head towards Te Puke.

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Earlier:

Ohope beach properties are being evacuated due to the storm surge risk from Cyclone Cook.

Bay of Plenty Civil Defence has ordered the evacuation of all Westend Ohope and Ohope beachfront properties as well as coastal campgrounds on the Matata Straight.

Properties adjacent to the Maraetotara Stream, Millers Stream and Wharekura Stream may also be vulnerable to storm surge travelling up the stream.

People are advised to self-evacuate to friends or family in the first instance, or to go to the Civil Defence Centre at the Whakatane War Memorial Hall. People should take pets with them, and where possible, ensure they are contained in pet carriers.

Harbourside streets Ohiwa Parade and Liddon Parade and a small number of properties on the southern side of Harbour Rd along the harbour edge, may also be impacted and residents of those areas are also advised to self-evacuate.

Residents living in these areas who have neighbours who may be in need of help to evacuate are asked to offer assistance wherever possible.

All stream crossing points in Ohope are considered to be vulnerable and people are advised to treat them with extreme care.

Further evacuations are being initiated for all campgrounds at the western end of the Whakatane District, including the DOC campground in Matata (mandatory), Murphy's Holiday Camp, the Pikowai Campground (mandatory), Otamarakau freecamping area and the Thornton Beach Holiday Park (seaward side only).

West End Rd resident Pat Carrington said he was slowly getting things together and calmly evacuating.

"The local council and police came around and let people know, they've been very pleasant and approachable," he said.

"Most people are leaving West End Rd and the council and police are checking everyone is okay."

Mr Carrington had his fingers crossed he'd be back in the property tomorrow.

"It's a pretty precautionary evacuation," he said.

Maraetotara Centre's Graham Turner, said everything was very much up in the air.

"We're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," he said.

"At this point it's like an ordinary rain event, I'm most worried for the storm surge with high tide."

Mr Turner said although they were adjacent to the Maraetotara Stream he didn't think the water levels were too high.

"We've put out sand bags along a few places of the stop bank we think are most vulnerable," he said.

"We won't really know what happens until it gets here."

People who are in camper vans or motorhomes in the campgrounds should seek higher or sheltered ground as soon as possible but are advised to be aware of extreme wind conditions.

Residents of the Awatarariki fanhead area around Clem Elliot Dr are also being asked to self-evacuate. Evacuees from these locations are advised to seek shelter with friends or family living away from the immediate coastal hazard area, or go to the Whakatane War Memorial Hall.

Storm surge waves of up to 5m are expected once Cyclone Cook impacts the area which is likely to be from 6pm.

That wave height will cover West End Rd.

All stream crossing points in Ohope are considered to be vulnerable and people are advised to treat them with extreme care.

Heavy rain and extreme winds are likely to coincide with the storm surge, increasing the risks associated with slips from district escarpments and trees falling onto properties and across roads.

Whakatane Civil Defence urges residents to stay off the roads during the peak of the storm impact, from 6pm tonight onwards.

Anyone not in the evacuation zones, but who feels unsafe should also consider self-evacuating to a safe location.