Slips create havoc in Nelson area

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Police and other emergency services have been working around the clock to manage the issues arising as a result of the severe flooding in Nelson Bays.Slips create havoc in Nelson area

Police and other emergency services have been working around the clock to manage the issues arising as a result of the severe flooding in Nelson Bays.

Tasman District Commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said flooding had abated slightly, but countless slips were causing a great deal of trouble and damage to property.

While some roads have re-opened one of the main arterial routes into the city via Wakefield Quay and Rocks Road remains closed.

“We have some serious issues in that area as a result of landslides and the resulting damage to property and it is unsafe for people to use the road, be they driving, pedestrians or cyclists,” Superintendent Knowles said.

Traffic is gridlocked leaving the city and motorists are urged to be patient and drive with extreme care.

The only route in and out of the city to the South is via Waimea Road.
Superintendent Knowles also advised motorists to expect similar delays tomorrow.

“Unless it’s essential that you get into Nelson tomorrow we’d really encourage people to stay at home,” he said.

Evacuations have continued all day and included 100 people from the Pohara Valley.

A group is also stranded as a result of slips on Cable Bay Road. The army has attempted to rescue the group but was unable to reach them, however they have had some assistance from the local community and Police do not hold immediate concerns for their safety.

Residents in the Wood area of Nelson City were asked to leave their homes for several hours this afternoon as the hillside behind began slipping.

Superintendent Knowles said the response from those residents was fantastic.

“Everyone was co-operative and they were all helping each other out. The call to evacuate was made in the interest of those residents’ safety.”

The majority have been able to return to their homes, however some have been deluged with mud and others are still too close to the danger zone to return.

Many residents have also self-evacuated and gone to stay with friends and family.

Superintendent Knowles said, while emergency services were stretched, he believed staff were coping extremely well.

“This is a team effort and all of the agencies are working well together with a common sense of purpose,” Superintendent Knowles said.

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