Prepare for the worst as Lusi looms large

Last updated 12:03 14/03/2014
Lusi
MetService
INCOMING: A satellite image from 4am on Friday morning shows Tropical Cyclone Lusi approaching from the north.

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Nelson Tasman Emergency Management staff will be on standby over the weekend monitoring Tropical Cyclone Lusi.

The worst of forecast bad weather is expected in the region on Sunday. The Knapps Lawyers Boulder Bank Challenge scheduled for Sunday was today postponed to March 23. Rotary Club of Nelson West president Dick Carter said the safety of the public and a respect for possible sea conditions was uppermost in making this decision.

Satellite images showed the weather system was nearly the size of the North Island as it tracked toward New Zealand.

It was due to hit Northland tonight, with high winds extending as far south as Auckland.

Emergency Management is advising Nelson and Tasman residents to prepare for possible severe weather this weekend.

It warns the top of the South Island is expected to experience heavy rain and strong winds.

It said there were no weather warnings for the region but that could change once the path of Cyclone Lusi became clearer.

Emergency Management staff will continue to monitor the situation and are liaising with emergency services and Civil Defence volunteers.

Emergency Management public information manager Angela Ricker said residents were advised to monitor weather forecasts and updates and also take note of any warnings that are issued.

Meanwhile, residents should be vigilant when travelling and take basic precautions at home. This should include having an emergency kit, ensuring drains and gutters run freely plus securing outdoor furniture and fittings. People should also have backup plans in case of power outages, she said.

"If heavy rain does fall and flooding follows, council staff and contractors will be activated to deal with any issues that arise. In any emergency, the first priority is to protect human life, then essential infrastructure and then private properties.

"As a general rule residents are asked to be self sufficient by looking after themselves and their properties, including sandbagging if needed. If flooding occurs council staff may not be able to respond to requests at individual private properties. If you know your property is prone to flooding, please consider keeping your own stock of sandbags on hand. Supplies to make sandbags are readily available at DIY and landscaping suppliers."

Tasman District Council spokesman Chris Choat said with a high tide on Sunday those in low lying areas needed to be aware they could be at risk if high wind and storm surges eventuated.

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The Nelson SanitariumWeet-Bix Kids Tryathlon at Tahunanui reserve and beach involving thousands of children is still scheduled to go ahead on Sunday, and organisers advised entrants to look at its Facebook page for updates.

The Brook Sanctuary Open Day, with guest Ruud Kleinpaste, is also going ahead on Sunday, with the organisers saying they are "hoping for the best and planning for the worst".

Tickets for the Boulder Bank Challenge will be valid for Sunday, March 23.

Updates will be on the nelsonwestrotary.org.nz or on the Facebook page "Nelson West Rotary".

- Nelson

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