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Published: 2017-05-13 16:30:00

Waikato Regional Council is alerting farmers and others in the Piako River catchment that river levels are high and rising after significant recent rain but that the flood management system is expected to cope. 

“The good news is that the river is unlikely to do any significant overtopping of stopbanks and cause more surface flooding in emergency ponding areas such as paddocks at this stage,” said regional hazards team leader Rick Liefting. 

“But people need to be aware of the potential for some limited overtopping and also the fact that the river’s level is high and rising. Users of the area, such as duck shooters in the Kopuatai Peat Dome area, need to be careful in light of this advice."

Mr Liefting said the last few days’ rainfall amounts in the Piako’s catchment had been similar to that seen in recent cyclones, a period which saw extensive surface flooding after stopbanks overtopped into emergency ponding zones as they were designed to do. 

“The catchments continue to be very saturated in the region. Any surface water from this latest rainfall in the Piako catchment will take time to move into the drainage systems, helping keep waterway levels high. 

“Flood response staff will continue to monitor the situation closely for the Piako and in other catchments as well, as these also remain saturated. 

“But, with no more rain forecast for several days, we do not expect any major spilling to ponding zones even though water levels will remain very high for some time for the Piako.”