The Civil Defence local State of Emergency in Westland was lifted this morning at 1055hrs as conditions eased overnight and into today. The Emergency Management Operations Centre is closing down.
State Highway 6 between Ross and Makarora reopened at 0900 and MetService has lifted all weather warnings for the Westland, Grey and Buller regions.
Mayor Helen Lash has thanked the people of the Westland region for their patience and co-operation while the local State of Emergency has been in place.
“Our main priority was and always is the safety of our people – our tourists, locals and emergency service personnel. Without knowing which way the weather was going to go, it was important that we had everything in place to be able to react immediately if needed.
“We’ve been fortunate this time around, but it’s great to know that we have the skill and expertise on hand to respond to these events as and when we need to.”
Mayor Lash thanked the Emergency Management teams who worked through the night. She also thanked Minister for Emergency Management Mark Mitchell, who spent time in the Emergency Operations Centre in Hokitika late yesterday and this morning.
“We have an incredible, tight-knit team of individuals who put the needs of our community ahead of their own, and who work together like a well-oiled machine. That has been recognised by the Minister and I add my appreciation as well,” Mayor Lash said.
West Coast Emergency Management Group Controller, Te Aroha Cook, said the positive and immediate response of the public to the road closure was positive.
“We appreciate that it may have taken some people by surprise and caused some inconvenience. However, we’ve had very positive feedback from locals and tourists alike who have universally understood that safety is paramount.
“This has been a good test of our emergency response activities and I have complete confidence that our teams can and will be incredibly effective if and when we need them in the future.”