Buller District Council

Mandatory Evacuation for low lying areas in Westport

4th February, 2022

The Buller Civil Defence Controller has ordered the evacuation of parts of Westport that are at direct threat from flooding.  

This is to save people’s lives based on the risk from the rainfall and high tides, and the experience from previous floods  

The areas covered by the compulsory evacuation order are:  

* All of Snodgrass  

* Coates St  

* Derby Street between Cobden and the beach  

* Roebuck St  

* Menzies St  

* The Airport  

* Marrs Beach  

* Martins Creek  

* Colvin Street  

* Kawatiri Place  

The decision to partially evacuate was taken by the local EOC Controller in consultation with BDC Chief Executive and emergency services and has been driven by flood risk assessments experts.  

Police, Fire and Emergency, Land Search and Rescue and volunteers will be conducting a door-to-door operation today to implement the mandatory evacuation in these areas.  

The Emergency Operations Centre will continue to monitor this evolving weather event. Decisions on further evacuations will be made later in the day if necessary.  

If you feel unsafe – head to the Holcim site. You will need to take your grab bags; personal medications, water, food, sleeping bags, bedding, blankets, warm clothes and remember to make provisions for your pets where possible. Take food so you can self contain for at least for 24 hours. Be prepared to sleep in your vehicles  

For residents that cannot be accommodated with friends or family there will be emergency accommodation available at the former Holcim Cement Works site at Cape Foulwind. This site will offer basic facilities that prioritise shelter, food, basic health care and sanitation only. The majority of evacuees at the Holcim site will need to sleep and rest in their vehicles.  

Whilst at the Evacuation centre, residents are asked to stay in their household bubbles as much as possible, to wear a mask and physically distance. Covid19 red protection framework Health & Safety protocols will be in place.  

105 is the number for Police non-emergencies. 111 is the emergency number for Police, Fire and Ambulance.  

If people need help to evacuate, please call the Buller Emergency Operations Centre on 0800 234 533.  

This is a particularly disruptive and distressing time for our community, especially those who went through this ordeal last July, but it’s critical we all do so to keep ourselves safe. 


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