STORM EVENT #5 - Horizons closes its Emergency Operations Centre

Horizons Regional Council Emergency Operations Centre controller Michael McCartney says the council closed its EOC at 9.30am this morning, following a conference call with all affected territorial authorities in the Region.

“The Manawatu River will peak at 6.6 metres around midday, with the Moutoa floodgates likely to remain open until Sunday morning,” says Mr McCartney.

“All other EOCs in the Region, with the exception of Ruapehu District Council, have also closed.

“We will continue to remain in contact and offer support where and when necessary, particularly with many areas still closed due to snow and inaccessible roads.

“In addition to the majority of the Central Plateau area, State Highway 56 at the Opiki spillway, and approximately 27 roads in the Tararua district, including coastal areas, are also closed. 

“Many homes are still without power. Line companies will continue to work throughout the day.

“As roads and utilities come back into action, we remind people to take caution as there are numerous slips, and trees and power lines down. We also encourage people to check on friends, families, neighbours, and animals,” says Mr McCartney. 

“MetService says the rain will turn to showers at approximately 1pm today, however more snow is expected for the Rangitikei and Central Plateau areas until late this afternoon.

“There will continue to be a great deal of water around, and for now we can’t say how the snow will contribute to this once it starts melting. Waterways are likely to contain debris and take a number of days to return to normal. 

“Horizons duty teams will be in place over the weekend.”

This is our last media release for this event.

Further information will be shared via our Manawatu-Wanganui Civil Defence social media pages: 
Twitter: @MW_CivilDefence 

Members of the public are advised to check the status of roads before they start their journey, as some are closed. People can call 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or visit or

Up-to-date information on river heights and rainfall is available via Horizons 24 hour toll-free Waterline 0508 4 FLOOD or via our

For weather forecasting information please see

Financial Support
Those affected by the storm through road closures, power outages, or other weather related issues, are asked to make contact with Work and Income to test their eligibility for financial assistance. Work and Income may be able to help with costs for those who don’t have any other way of paying, even if they are not on a benefit. Information (including eligibility criteria) can be found on their website or via a phone call 0800 559 009. 

Animal welfare (in cold or snowy conditions)
  • If you haven’t already, move animals to sheltered areas. Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds.
  • Have a water supply available. Most animal deaths in winter storms are from dehydration.
  • Make sure your livestock are secure if there is no power.