Skip to main content
Published: 2011-01-23 00:00:00

Waikato Civil Defence staff and councils have been dealing with surface flooding throughout the Waikato region today, with floodwaters blocking some roads and closing a camp ground in Taupo.

Those living close to rivers and lakes have been advised to prepare for rising water levels over the next three days as heavy rain continues to fall, particularly across the Coromandel Peninsula, Hauraki Plains and Taupo areas.

 Waikato Civil Defence duty officer Greg Ryan said in addition to river flood risk, people needed to be aware that potentially damaging winds of up to 120km/hr were forecast for the Coromandel Peninsula.

 “The concern is the wind will whip up the king tide expected around 11.30pm tonight, increasing the likelihood of flooding in low-lying coastal areas,” he said.

 Mr Ryan said EW was also keeping a particularly close watch on Lake Taupo and the Waipa and Waikato rivers which had been rising steadily throughout the day.

 Lake Taupo increased 2 cm in an hour earlier today and was continuing to climb.

“We’ve seen 120-150 mm rain over Taupo over the past 24 hours which has increased lake levels quite significantly,” he said.

“Lake Taupo is approaching its maximum control level of 357.25 metres above sea level and is expected to keep rising due to inflows so Environment Waikato will continue to work closely with Mighty River Power to reduce the level of Lake Taupo to below its maximum control level as soon as possible.”

 The Waikato River in the hill country east of Te Kuiti and Otorohanga had received about 200mm of rain over the past 24 hours and was expected to peak on Tuesday at Ngaruawahia, where the Waikato meets the Waipa River, he said.

 “These are big rivers which take a bit longer to show the effects of the rain and the flows coming from Taupo.

“They are behaving in an entirely predictable way but we can’t afford to be complacent and will be maintaining a close watch over rainfall and river levels and let the public know if the situation changes.”

 Mr Ryan said EW would continue to work with Mighty River Power to manage flows through the Waikato River hydro electricity system.

 He said the council would also be alerting landowners and councils as early flood warnings are triggered across the regional council’s flood warning network.