February 16, 2023
Hawke’s Bay “unrecognisable” after storm
Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti are this mornings assessing the damage done by Cyclone Gabrielle as well as trying to reconnect basic services like power and mobile phone service.
Slips and washed away bridges have cut off towns and villages.
The Wairoa River burst its banks, flooding a large part of the town, and Gisborne, Napier and Hastings are also isolated.
Apikara Brightwell, the manager of Hastings-based Radio Kahungunu, it’s a changed landscape.
“Parts of Hawke’s Bay are really unrecognisable. Our bridges are gone. All our crops, viticulture, horticulture, everything, you see apples all over the road. In the central areas of Hastings and Napier you would think it’s peak hour traffic, everyone is trying to get out and head to evacuation centres or friends and whanau,” she says.
Water reticulation systems are down and people also are concerned food will become short.
Damage to broadcasting equipment has put Radio Kahungunu off air, so the station is using social media to get important messages out.
Radio Ngati Porou, Gisborne’s Turanga FM and Te Hilu in the far north have also been forced to stop broadcasting because of storm damage.
Two people were confirmed dead in Hawkes Bay overnight. A woman in Putorino died after a bank collapsed on to her home, and another person was found dead on Napier’s’ Bay View shore.