Kiri Allan visits flood-ravaged East Cape after over 100mm of rain falls in the area

Kiri Allan visits flood-ravaged East Cape after over 100mm of rain falls in the area
Photo credit: Facebook / Kiri Allan

Kiri Allan has visited flood-ravaged areas on the east coast as the area faces the aftermath of over 100mm of rainfall.

After wet weather wreaked havoc and caused flash floods in Gisborne and East Cape on Sunday, Allan, who is the Labour MP for the area and also the Minister for Emergency Management, met with locals to see some of the devastation in Tokomaru and Waipiro Bay.

"A fair bit of damage to homes down Arthur Street with families having to be relocated until their houses can be cleaned and assessed," she wrote in a Facebook post.

"There are a few families without road access down off Kopuaroa and McIlroy roads. Pretty gutted to see the damage caused to Hatea a Rangi School."

Allan, who was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer in April, finished nine weeks of treatment just two weeks ago. 

Commenters on her post were glad to see her out and about after her treatment.

"Good to see you up and around looking after other people Kiri. Remember you're allowed to take it easy though and look after yourself too," one person said.

"Kiri Allan what an amazing woman you are. Still thinking of others with everything you are going through. An amazing wahine," another wrote.

The wet weather caused a part of State Highway 35 between Tolaga Bay and Gisborne to be completely underwater earlier on Sunday, and several roads in the area were closed due to flooding.

Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz​ said she was "happy to report" that river levels were going down and a heavy rain warning in the area had been lifted. She also said SH35 north and south of Tokomaru Bay was now open after having been closed earlier today.

"We have had huge amounts of rain," she told Newshub, adding that some residents decided to self-evacuate from their homes during the wild weather.

MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane said more than 100mm of rain had fallen in some parts of northern Gisborne in just 12 hours. 

She said some places had recorded over 30mm of rain in one hour, which is "quite a downpour".

"That's quite a lot of rain to fall in such a short period of time."

Most of the rain fell when a front moving southwards down the North Island hit the area around 7-9am on Sunday, she said.

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence, which has given updates on the flooding and road closures, says it has been in regular contact with members of the community throughout Sunday. These include police, Fire and Emergency, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Allan, and Stoltz.