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Published: 2010-09-17 00:00:00

Environment Waikato’s flood operations centre is maintaining a close watch over weather conditions and river levels.

Less rain fell over the region than forecast yesterday but the levels of the Waikato and Waipa rivers are still rising.

"Further rain is expected over the next few days and these rivers levels are expected to keep rising," said emergency management spokesman Adam Munro. "We still expect the waters to be contained within our flood management system but we are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to do so over the weekend."

No major problems have been reported so far as a result of the elevated river levels although river paths around Hamilton have been closed and the Narrows Bridge near Hamilton airport has been closed as the river level has made it impossible to monitor an erosion risk there.

And Mr Munro said the risk of foreshore erosion on Lake Taupo will increase over the next few days.

"The level of Lake Taupo was already high and has been increased by recent rainfall.

"Very strong north-west to westerly winds are forecast over the lake area on Friday and Saturday. High waves are expected on the lake as a result and this could cause some foreshore erosion and surface flooding.

"The areas of particular concern are around the south eastern shoreline.

"Residents are asked to keep away from any unstable banks for safety reasons and to maintain the integrity of the banks as they act as a buffer against the waves."

Mr Munro said EW and Taupo District Council will be monitoring the lake situation closely over the next few days. The two councils also have a long-term joint erosion strategy.