Slightly more water will be moved through the middle of the Waikato River overnight to make the most of a brief break in the bad weather before more rain tomorrow.
More rain is expected late tomorrow and Friday as a new front hits the country, and as levels slowly drop the amount allowed to flow out of Karapiro power station will be slightly increased overnight. The amount is kept low to ensure there will not be problems for low lying areas of Hamilton City and the lower Waikato area tomorrow as the water reaches city boundaries.
The Regional Council’s Flood Response Team has been working closely with Genesis and Mighty River Power to control some of the water flowing through the hydro dams to reduce downstream flooding, and create a little storage room to accommodate the expected rain.
River levels in the lower Waikato are expected to reach highest levels about 50 to 100 mm higher than they are now over the next 36 hours, and levels and Huntly and Ngaruawahia are expected to recede slowly, if no more significant rain falls.
The MetService has issued a weather watch for the Coromandel Peninsula and predicts another 15 – 25 mm over the Waikato from tomorrow and into the weekend. Because the rain is likely to hit the top half of the North Island, levels are being held steady throughout the river system to ensure space to accommodate more water.
Environment Waikato Flood Control Manager Scott Fowlds said the forecast of rain and heavy showers did not give much comfort for the lower Waikato River areas, which were already experiencing surface flooding and ponding.