Northland declares state of emergency over floods

Tue, Jan 31
Rainy weather.

A state of emergency has been declared for Northland as wild weather continues to batter the upper North Island.

The local emergency declaration was made at 1pm this afternoon, and will be in force for an initial period of seven days, the Northland Regional Council said this afternoon.

It was declared following a request by Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) group controller Graeme MacDonald and signed by CDEM group chair Kelly Stratford.

An emergency mobile alert advising of the declaration is being sent to phones in Northland which are capable of receiving the alerts.

MacDonald said there have been just five emergency declarations for the region since 1973.

"Declaring an emergency is a step under our legislation which allows the Civil Defence Controller and/or those to whom they delegate authority, access to emergency powers, granting authority to protect life and property in extraordinary emergency events under the Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Act 2002," he said.

"We don’t know for certain that we will need to make use of these emergency powers but given the potential for the main impact of this event to happen overnight, we’ve done it now as a precautionary step so we have them available if they’re needed."

While there has been only moderate rainfall for most parts of the region, Northland Civil Defence, local emergency services and partner agencies have urged Northlanders to take it seriously.

It comes as possible localised downpours are expected to hit later tonight. Showers are expected tomorrow, while further rain expected on Friday.

Up to date information on the weather can be found on the MetService website.