East Coast regions prepare for heavy rain just two months after Cyclone Gabrielle

They've already been battered now there's another heavy rain warning for the East Coast regions of Hawke's Bay and Tairawhiti.

Less than two months after Cyclone Gabrielle, residents are being warned to prepare for flooding and slips during the Easter weekend. 

And it's the last thing the communities need.  

When it comes to the weather, 2023 hasn't been very kind to the East Coast. 

"We've had a lot this year. We've had Cyclone Hale, we've had Cyclone Gabrielle. it's a tough road ahead to recover so it's fair to say we are tired. We need a break," said Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz. 

But this Easter weekend won't be the break they were after. Metservice has issued heavy rain warnings for both Hawke's Bay and Tairawhiti.  

"Oh, this is not what we expected for Easter it's not what our community needs," Stoltz told Newshub. 

The warnings have been in place since 9am on Friday and will last until Sunday. 

Metservice meteorologist William Nepe says the heaviest falls are expected on Saturday with up to 200 millimetres of rain falling in the ranges.

"The ground is so wet. It's really not going to take much rain or what we typically would call heavy rain, probably not even as much as that to cause things like slips, surface flooding." 

It's seven weeks since cyclone Gabrielle caused widespread devastation and the East Coast is still trying to recover.

"There are going to be different emotions that we are going to see. It's ok not to be ok in times like this," said Hawke's Bay Regional Council chairperson Hinewai Ormsby.

And while rainfall is not expected to be anywhere near the levels of Gabrielle, the region's leaders are not taking any chances.

"We will keep a close eye on our river levels, make sure people are aware of what's going on," Stoltz said. 

"We are ready if things do escalate above and beyond the forecast.. we are ready to stand up those emergency services," Ormsby told Newshub. 

But some locals aren't letting the weather ruin their long weekend camping plans. 

"You gotta do it. Hopefully, we don't get flooded out here," said one local.

"We decided to brave the weather and see how it goes," another told Newshub. 

"Just gonna have the best time with the kids."