The Rotorua Lakes Council is urging the public to stay away from the flood-affected Western Rd area in Ngongotaha unless they need to be there.

Residents have been returning to their homes today and starting the clean-up.

"We've had reports of 'sightseers' showing up and we would ask that people please respect what local residents are going through and allow them to do what they need to do," Acting Civil Defence primary controller Bruce Horne said.

"Council staff and Red Cross representatives have been in the Western Rd area providing information, advice and support to residents and helping with delivery of food and other items dropped off at Trinity Church in Ngongotaha which, with support from local businesses and the community, has sprung into action to assist fellow locals.

"There's been a great effort all round today but there's a lot still to be done and we are still gathering information to help provide us with a good picture of what we're dealing with across the wider district. We've had to focus first on the worst-affected area and helping people there."


Most roads are open again although several roads in Reporoa and Rerewhakaaitu remain closed. See THIS LINK for more information about roads.

Stormwater and sewerage systems are also coping well today after being inundated yesterday.

"Many people affected by flooding self-evacuated and there were just three evacuees we had to find accommodation for overnight Sunday with two accommodated again tonight," Horne said.

"Crews have been out all day working on slips and assessing roads and clearing and that will continue."


• There is still a high potential of contamination from stormwater within houses affected by yesterday's floods. Please keep children away from these areas and wash hands and clothes thoroughly after contact.

• Mains drinking water is safe. However, if you get your drinking water from another source, such as river or lake, boil it as a precaution.

• If you are in need of help or assistance, contact the council on 07 348 4199 as soon as possible.

• If you see manhole lids on private properties or the street that have become dislodged, contact the council as soon as possible on 07 348 4199 to fix the issue.


What can/should I do at home?

There are potential health risks associated with contaminated flood water. It can be assumed that all flood water is potentially contaminated with farm run-off, faecal matter from animals and in some cases, sewage.

If your house was affected by flood water, wait for a building or health officer to assess the damage and give guidance on what to do next. It is also advisable to contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

Who do I call if my waterworks are blocked/overflowing?

Refer all calls for damaged infrastructure to the council on 07 348 4199 and a staff member will attend as soon as possible.

Who co-ordinates the recovery and clean-up and how are things prioritised?

The Rotorua Lakes Council is the lead agency in a Civil Defence emergency. Support is provided by other agencies such as Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the police.

The council is now in recovery mode which means getting people, businesses and infrastructure back to normal.

Roading crews are prioritising areas where roads needed to be cleared and stabilised and access restored.

What's happening at the WWTP?

Yesterday during the heavy rain the wastewater treatment plant was overwhelmed, unable to cope with the volume of water trying to enter the plant, causing diluted sewage to overflow the system, which meant contaminated wastewater entered the stream and lake.

Since about 8.30pm yesterday the pressure on the sewerage systems started to ease and they are all now back to normal and coping well.

How many people were taken to the welfare centre at the EEC and what assistance were they given?

Many people who were evacuated and taken to the Emergency Welfare Centre set up at the Energy Events Centre were picked up from there by family and friends and did not register.

The centre catered to about 40 people throughout the evening, providing shelter, food, medical assistance, advice and information.

The centre stayed open overnight in case others needed accommodation or overnight assistance. Overnight accommodation was found for three people who came to the centre.

How many weather-related calls did RLC receive during the weekend?

Between 8am Sunday, April 29 and 8am Monday, April 30 the statement the council received about 750 calls, the majority related to weather incidents.