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Published: 2002-07-08 00:00:00

Environment Waikato’s Flood Response Team is keeping a close eye on the Waikato River as several days of rain flows through the system.

The Waikato is expected to reach its highest water level at Whatawhata at 6pm tonight at about 19.1 metres – almost double its usual level of about 10 metres. The river will peak at Ngaruawahia at 6am tomorrow about 3.5 metres higher than normal, and again at Huntly about 10am, Rangiriri at 2pm and Mercer at 8pm tomorrow night. At Mercer the level is likely to be 5.3 metres when the river normally runs at between 2 and 2.5 metres.

Environment Waikato Emergency Management Officer Brendan Morris said the peaks were not likely to result in serious overtopping of stopbanks but there was likely to be flooding in unprotected areas and localised ponding.

The Council is working closely with the two power companies, Genesis and Mighty River Power to store water in the hydro system to reduce levels downstream. Lake Taupo is also full and still rising. The forecast over the next few days is for showers easing and fine intervals with isolated showers continuing over the next three days.