7 April 2017
The New Zealand Defence Force sent 23 more soldiers this afternoon to help man cordons in Edgecumbe, which has been engulfed by floodwater after heavy rain on Thursday.
Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy, the Acting Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the Army Reservists, backed by two trucks and two other vehicles, were dispatched after a request from the Whakatane Emergency Operations Centre.
“Their main tasks are to assist police in maintaining the cordons and checkpoints around the areas that have been evacuated, to ensure the safety of people and property,” Air Commodore McEvoy said.
Two NZDF members were sent to Edgecumbe on Thursday to help New Zealand Fire Service staff ensure residents in flooded areas had evacuated.
Earlier this week, the NZDF sent 50 staff to Whanganui and Rangitikei to help evacuate residents, fill sandbags, check on residents in flooded areas and man cordons after the councils declared local states of emergency.