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News in briefs, May 21, 2024

Warning of
wet weather

NZTA has advised people travelling on State Highway 2 and State Highway 53 in Wairarapa today to monitor the weather and road conditions closely. MetService has issued a series of weather warnings and watches, including a heavy rain watch for the Wairarapa district. The warning applies for 21 hours from midday today. NZTA said, “Wet roads are slippery roads, so all road users must drive to the conditions.” NZTA reminded drivers that standard “safety tips apply”, such as awareness of following distances or any road hazards, speed reductions, avoiding sudden braking, and using headlights on if visibility is poor. “Heavy rain also increases the risk of slips, treefalls, and localised flooding. Bad weather can also close roads at short notice.”

Burglary

Wairarapa Police responded to reports of a burglary on Makoura Rd in Masterton on Sunday at 5.40am. A police spokesperson said that they are making enquires.

Rubbish fire

A fire crew from Masterton Fire Station responded to a small rubbish fire in the Bideford area at 1.45pm yesterday. A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesperson said someone was burning rubbish in a pit and some of the burning rubbish had come away from the pit. They said it took 30 minutes to extinguish. One truck and a tanker attended.

Flood plan

Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC] environment group manager Lian Butcher said GWRC is trialling a new flood warning system for those who live and work in parts of the Ruamāhanga floodplain area [Martinborough, Pahautau, Dyerville, Kahutara]. The new system will use TNZ’s SaaS platform, which has the ability to send a templated warning call from a Forecast and Warning Duty Officer [FWDO] to a specific group, Butcher said. Previously, an officer had to use a manual ‘phone tree’ system and call up to 15 people if either of the two initial contacts were not able to pass on the message. “Ensuring we have a system that is agile, simple to use, and maintainable is critical given the ever-present threat of more climate-driven, severe rainfall and flood events,” Butcher said. GWRC will decide whether to adopt the new system when the trial finishes in about four months.

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