Buller District has declared a State of Emergency after flooding in the coastal town of Granity.

Buller District Mayor Garry Howard said a state of emergency was set in place after the Red Cross and Police issued concerns in regards to an area in Granity under threat of both wind and sea.

"Half a dozen houses are affected at the present state, in that Granity area," Howard said.

"We do want the residents from those houses evacuated."


Howard said Granity is in close proximity to the sea and the main road is "fully exposed". He said the area was also affected by Cyclone Fehi.

"They certainly had the inundation from the sea surge. This time it is the wind that is causing the issues, along with the sea swell.

"Thankfully we are past the high tide and the tide is going out, but the wind is building as we speak and likely to build as per the predictions over the next couple of hours.

"We are getting wind gusts between 80-120km/h at the present time."

Howard said another reason behind declaring a state of emergency was wanting to initiate any evacuations during daylight hours.

"We don't want to go doing evacuations in the hours of darkness.

"There will be other areas that we have a close look at and take recommendations from those in the field.

"It will be up to their judgment call, but we are just working with those agencies and making sure we get the co-operation of the residents."


Welfare centres in Westport and at the Granity Hall are open and ready for service, Howard said.

Power is currently off for all consumers in Granity, Birchfield, and Hector, as well as north of Westport, while Karamea power is being supplied via generators.

State Highway 6 from Hokitika to Franz Josef Glacier, and from Westport to Greymouth has been closed due to strong winds and surface flooding.

All schools, early childhood centres and the Polytech are also closed today and tomorrow.