People should expect Lake Taupo and the Waipa and Waikato rivers to continue rising over the next two days even though rain is forecast to ease across the Waikato region.
Waikato Civil Defence duty officer Adam Munro said all river levels rose overnight triggering early warning alarms on Environment Waikato’s flood warning network, but by earlier today the smaller rivers were already starting to recede.
The larger systems, including Lake Taupo, Waipa and Waikato Rivers, were expected to continue rising, peaking on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Flood modelling done by Environment Waikato’s flood management team over the weekend initially forecast river flows close to those seen during the 2004 floods which put low-lying rural areas around Otorohanga, Huntly and Gordonton under water for several days.
“Up until this morning, we were preparing for a fairly significant flood but with the rain easing we are now looking at a better picture,” Mr Munro said.
“Even so, people need to be aware the very low-lying riverside walks through Hamilton, Ngaruawahia and Huntly are likely to be swamped over the next few days as the flood peak moves through the system.”
Mr Munro said Environment Waikato and Mighty River Power were working closely together to monitor and manage inflows and outflows from Lake Taupo and Karapiro to balance the flow of water through the Waikato River.
On the Coromandel Peninsula, people might continue to see some coastal flooding as the king tide combines with strong northerly winds.
Civil defence volunteers on the Thames Coast were preparing to sandbag properties near the mouth of the Te Puru Stream this morning in advance of the expected high tide around midday. However, the wind has recently dropped and they do not believe sandbags will be needed.
Mr Munro said Waikato communities could expect only a short reprieve from the wild weather as the potential for another subtropical system is being forecast for the region next weekend.
“Environment Waikato and Waikato Civil Defence will be watching developments very closely and providing information and warnings, if necessary, to those planning on outdoor activities for the long weekend.”