Buller District Council

Assessment and Clean up begins

21st February, 2018

8am, 21 February 2018

Assessment and Clean up begins

The night has now passed and residents are waking up to possible damage caused by Ex Cyclone Gita.   The worse was over prior to midnight and thankfully high tide came and went with no major issues.  Reefton and Karamea escaped most of the storm with the main affected areas being Westport and the other coastal areas north and south.

The main damage is likely to be to roofs, that may have blown loose, power lines and fallen trees.   Buller District Council have sent a building assessment team out to inspect all the homes that were evacuated in Granity yesterday to ensure it is safe to return. Other residents should take some time this morning to inspect their own properties for visible damage.  28 people were accommodated in motels and motorcamps last night.

Some local roads had fallen trees, but these are all now cleared and open. Westreef are currently clearing small debris from the roads north of Westport.  Inangahua Junction to Westport (Lower Buller Gorge) was closed but is now open, the Westport to Rapahoe is currently being assessed and a further update will be provided at 9am.  With State Highway 1 between Christchurch and Picton now closed extra traffic can be expected on the inland route so drivers are warned to take care.   The beach and breakwater access points that were closed yesterday as a safety precaution will be re-opened sometime this morning.

As a precaution the Buller River is being monitored for any changes in level as a result of the rain, which thankfully was not as bad as predicted.

Any power outages will be assessed and repaired by Buller Electricity this morning.  All updates on will be posted on the Buller Civil Defence Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BullerCD/

Any Civil Defence or welfare enquiries should be directed to 03 789 7999.  Anyone who has suffered property damage can also phone this number to request a building assessment.

Buller Civil Defence wish to thank residents for adhering to safety advice and staying indoors and off roads, and all the welfare agencies and volunteers who have given their time to assist.  This has contributed to the smooth management of this event.


For more information please contact:

Andy Gowland-Douglas

Public Information Manager

Ph 027 230 4888



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