Current overflowed its banks in Te Kūiti, ‘houses evacuated’

Council buildings in Te Kuiti.

Libby Wilson/Stuff

Council buildings in Te Kuiti.

A number of local homes were evacuated after a stream burst its banks in Te Kūiti on Saturday afternoon due to severe weather in the area.

Civil protection has set up a welfare center to assist evacuees and an emergency center has been set up for the event, a spokesman said.

They had no details on the numbers that needed help.

A police spokesman said the Mangaokewa stream on the Esplanade in the Waitomo district burst its banks around 2:30 p.m.

It had flooded local homes and people had left.

“Civil protection has been called in and present,” said the police spokesperson.

Police had closed roads and Fire and Emergency NZ were involved.

Blocked streets are The Esplanade, Massey St, Rata St, Lawrence St and Ngarongo St.

Other roads in the area are also blocked.

“Our employees work with civil defense, local councils and other agencies,” a statement said.

Diversions were set up and motorists were advised to avoid the area.

A fire department foreman, Colin Underdown, said crews were in town helping people with property flooded by rain when the stream burst its banks.

He said the staff there had said this happened fairly often in the city.

An employee of the Te Kūiti fire station confirmed that flooding is fairly common at the site and indicated that people would wait for the water level to drop before they could return.