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A large chunk of SH25A (Kōpū-Hikuai Road) has fallen away. Photo: Thames Coromandel District Council.

Storm cleanup continues, effects still felt

The state of Coromandel and Hauraki roads remains unchanged as Waitangi weekend approaches, and Thames Coromandel District Council is advising against unnecessary travel. 

“If you do need to travel, pack a supply of food, water and any medications and ensure you have sufficient fuel should there be a sudden slip or road closure and you need to take the lengthy detour around the Coromandel to get home,” said Emergency Management spokesperson Julian Snowball. 

There are showers, rain and some fine periods forecast for the weekend and the week ahead. 

All Council customer service offices and Refuse Transfer Stations have reopened. Kerbside rubbish and recycling collections will not take place as scheduled in Coromandel Rural North but at this stage, collections in Mercury Bay North and Whitianga will continue as scheduled, dependent on conditions today. 

Te Whatu Ora Public Health Unit for Waikato has issued a red, “unsuitable for swimming” warning until at least February 7 for all waterways in the district due to the extreme rainfall and potential bacterial contamination. This includes all lakes, streams, rivers, estuaries and coastal beaches in Waikato region, including the Coromandel.

Dr Richard Wall, Te Whatu Ora Medical Officer of Health for Waikato recommended the water should be avoided for all recreational use.

“If you do use the water for recreational purposes when a warning is in place, then you are potentially exposing yourself to harmful pathogens that can cause illnesses including gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and vomiting), respiratory illnesses, skin infections and ear infections,” said Dr Wall.

A member of the public had also alerted the council to some potential vulnerability issues at a debris dam in the hills, near the Koputauaki Bay community north of Coromandel Town, as a result of the heavy rain.

Seven homes were affected. Those whānau were asked to move immediately last night and were hosted at an alternative overnight as a precaution.

Fire and Emergency and Civil Defence along with a local community leader are on site doing a rapid assessment of the risk and working through community support.

“We have taken immediate action in making sure families are safe, by moving them overnight until we can take a more thorough assessment this morning,” said Julian Snowball.