32 rescued from Rotorua's Agrodome after stream overflows

The 32 people trapped at a popular Rotorua tourist attraction after a stream burst its banks have been whisked to safety.

Fire and Emergency services evacuated 12 customers and 20 staff from the rising waters surrounding the Agrodome.

A statement from the Agrodome said those trapped were looked after until rescue teams were able to pick them up.

"Both customers and staff were all kept safe, warm and dry inside Agrodome’s main building until fire services were able to evacuate them to a clear road, where they were collected by taxis and buses," it said.

"Agrodome will be closed tomorrow, or until full structural checks can be made to the bridge and a full site inspection has been done."

Fire service shift manager Scott Osmond says Western Rd is severely flooded.

Emergency services have been overrun with calls from residents left stranded by down trees and closed roads.

Another 17 homes in the city have also been evacuated as Civil Defence teams are mobilised.

A welfare centre and emergency accommodation have been set up, and Civil Defence Controller Bruce Horne says conditions remain dangerous.

"Unless you need to be going out, you should be staying at home," he advised.

"Check in with your neighbours, and just make sure everyone in your neighbourhood is doing okay."

Rotorua Lakes Council has asked residents to stay off the roads if possible, as many of them have surface flooding and at least four large tree falls and three major slips have been reported.

As well as Rotorua, the storm has also ravaged the Coromandel Peninsula, especially Waihi and Whangamata.


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