Cyclone Cook: What you need to know - Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay video

Kevin Stent/Fairfax NZ

Chris Noble of MetService gives the overnight forecast for Cyclone Cook during a briefing at the National Crisis Management Centre in the Beehive on Thursday evening.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: 
* The Fire Service and power companies receive multiple reports of trees falling on to houses and into streets in Hawke's Bay
* Power outages on East Coast, in Hastings and Havelock North
* Pakowhai Rd between Napier and Havelock North blocked in both directions
* Police warn motorists to avoid travel in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne
* Wellington Airport open, but flights assessed on a case-by-case basis
* MetService expects "damaging severe gales" across the North Island overnight and early Friday morning
* Strong wind warnings for Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Tararua and Wellington
* Interislander says although it doesn't expect to cancel sailings, an erratic forecast and changing winds make predictions difficult

Wellington Civil Defence regional manager Bruce Pepperell​ said the forecast foul weather for Wellington would hit while most people were tucked up in bed, and it was likely to be nothing more than another "crappy day in paradise".

However, staff were on standby and monitoring the situation.

KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ

Civil Defence and Emergency Management director Sarah Stuart-Black gives her briefing at the National Crisis Management Centre.

"We don't think it's going to amount to much but we'll see how the storm tracks. These things are notoriously fickle.

READ MORE:
Live: Cyclone Cook, predicted to be the worst storm to hit in 49 years, bears down on NZ
Upgraded state of emergency and worry over Edgecumbe stopbank as new deluge nears
What you need to know: How Cyclone Cook will affect each region
Red Cross outlines where North Canterbury earthquake funds will go

"We're preparing for the worst but probably expecting something a bit better," Pepperell said. 

Wellington may no longer be facing the worst of Cyclone Cook, but the damage continues in Bay of Plenty, where a tree ...
MATT SHAND/ FAIRFAX NZ

Wellington may no longer be facing the worst of Cyclone Cook, but the damage continues in Bay of Plenty, where a tree has been uprooted in Whakatane.

Wellington

Low cloud at Wellington Airport caused delays and diversions for some flights on Thursday. The situation is being assessed as cloud conditions change, while rising gusts up to 140kmh could affect flights into the evening.

The storm is expected to reach the capital in the early hours of Friday morning, bringing strong winds and heavy rain.

Hawke's Bay

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Chances of severe gales, with gusts of 140kmh or more. Numerous power outages were reported in the region on Thursday night.

Taranaki

Severe gales of 140kmh or more are possible from Thursday night to Friday morning.

Manawatu-Wanganui

Thursday evening brings chances of severe gales of 140kmh or more, until Friday.

Meanwhile, Red Cross volunteers are on stand-by across New Zealand as the cyclone heads our way.

For disaster management head Andrew McKie, there was nothing new in dealing with tropical cyclones – except they were usually in the Pacific Islands, including Vanuatu, his home of a few years.

Around New Zealand, 470 volunteers in 19 different teams were ready to respond when problems arose.

Four welfare trucks were ready, each equipped to set up a welfare centre for 100 people with the likes of blankets, stretchers, hot drinks, cots, child toys and staff trained in counselling distraught people.

It was yet to be shown where the need would be the highest but Bay of Plenty - including already-flood-damaged Edgecumbe - was an area of "huge" vulnerability, he said.

 

 

 - Stuff

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