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Published: 2002-07-01 00:00:00

After hours of heavy rain yesterday, a fine day is giving a break to flood battered Waikato and Coromandel residents.

Heavy rain yesterday caused localised problems at Mercer and over the Coromandel Peninsula, with land going under water in several parts around Mercer and Mangatawhiri. Flood pumps are being used to move water from flooded areas.

State Highway One was down to one lane north of Mercer, but water levels are expected to drop over the next 24 hours. Environment Waikato’s Flood Response team is examining seepage on some stopbanks after weeks of rain.

Fine weather is forecast for the next couple of days, but with a new rain band due in the north on Tuesday, the team is preparing the Waikato River system to accommodate more water.

Mighty River Power has cut back flows from Karapiro to reduce flooding downstream and with Lake Taupo and the Waipa rivers dropping steadily more storage is being created. Even with no rain the system takes several days to move water through to pre-flood levels.

On the Hauraki Plains and Coromandel the Kauaeranga and Ohinemuri Rivers are dropping quickly after rising rapidly yesterday. The Waihou and Waitoa Rivers have overflowed in places and are still rising slightly. Flood Control manager Scott Fowlds said a couple of rain-free days would give some respite for flooded residents and a chance to move water through the system.

“But we may have more to come mid-week and we need to ensure there is storage room for whatever is ahead.”