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Published: 2004-03-02 00:00:00

State Highway 1 is now unlikely to be hit by floodwaters as water recedes faster than expected from the Waikato and Waipa Rivers.

EW predicts that the Rangiriri spillway – which flows water from the river across the highway to Lake Waikare - is now unlikely to be triggered by high flows later today. The Waipa River has dropped more rapidly than expected and the Waikato’s flows have been lowered so that the river is likely to reach about 8.5 metres at Rangiriri by this evening.

The floodway operates when the river reaches 8.8 metres. During the last major flood it reached 9.06 metres and the floodway operated for the first time in 27 years.

Water at Mercer in the lower Waikato is likely to peak around midday tomorrow at 4.74 metres – lower than originally predicted.