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4 February 2020

Homes evacuated and Welfare Centre set up

The Gore District Council has activated a welfare centre and evacuated one street, in East Gore, as rain continues to fall in the District.

Deputy chief executive Dr Ian Davidson-Watts is this evening urging anyone stranded in Gore or forced out of their homes by floodwaters to go to the Calvin Church, in Robertson Street.

“The Gore Visitor Centre has been inundated with requests for accommodation.”

About 50 people, adults and children, have been placed in commercial and private accommodation, he said.

There is a community response team at the Mataura service centre, working at keeping an eye on the flood protection and dealing with any issues in the town.

Police and Council staff this afternoon evacuated about 15 homes and businesses in Ontario Street, near the Mataura River, as flood waters continued to rise.

The ouvea premix, stored at the Mataura paper mill, was one of the first considerations for the Council.

The owners were contacted earlier today and advised to put their flood protection defences in place.

This has happened.

Emergency Management Southland is reassessing the situation to make sure it’s capable of providing the maximum amount of protection and supplying additional sandbagging.

Council staff and contractors have been checking roads and clearing drains / culverts throughout the day.

“We also sent a team of staff to talk to people in Gore’s worst affect streets to make sure they were okay.

“People were generally very positive and appreciated the call.”

A significant number of roads in the Gore District remain closed. For further information please go to the Council’s website www.goredc.govt.nz or NZTA

For more information please contact Dr Ian Davidson-Watts, phone 027-551-1218

PLEASE NOTE: At 2.20pm today, Southland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group chair Neville Cook declared a state of emergency for the Southland region, including Gore, following yesterday’s declaration for the Fiordland Community Board Area.

The declaration comes as extensive flooding causes significant problems across the region, including road closures and landslips.

Emergency Management Southland controller Angus McKay said the declaration helps provide a coordinated response to the emergency, which is being managed from the Invercargill emergency centre.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: info@goredc.govt.nz