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Published: 2008-07-30 00:00:00

Environment Waikato’s river management systems are coping well as a burst of severe weather moves over the region.

“Overall this event has been greater than the MetService was predicting, but rivers are generally handling it well and flood management schemes are operating as designed,” Environment Waikato emergency management officer Adam Munro said.

Mr Munro said rain had been heavy overnight, particularly in the Coromandel, Hauraki and north Waikato areas.

“There has been a lot more rain than forecast.  As at 10am this morning, the Golden Cross rainfall monitoring station in the hills behind Waihi had recorded about 300mm of rain over a 24-hour period, about double what was predicted.”

Heavy rainfall also triggered flood alarms in the Lower Waihou and Piako rivers.

“Because catchments were already saturated following last weekend’s weather, rivers have reacted faster than they would have otherwise,” Mr Munro said.

Mr Munro said water levels had been falling in some Coromandel rivers, such as the Kauaeranga and Tairua, but some Hauraki Plains rivers were still rising as water moved through the system.

Environment Waikato staff continue to monitor river levels and rainfall and are checking river management systems such as flood pumps and spillways, which can divert water to help minimise flood damage.

An Environment Waikato stop log gate is operating to manage flows in the Ohinemuri River, where water levels appear to have peaked and are now dropping.

“We are advising people to be vigilant and keep a close eye on the weather and river levels in their local areas,” Mr Munro said.

“Widespread surface flooding will continue to impact low lying areas for some time after this event has passed and this will require ongoing management and monitoring.”

More information about rainfall and river levels is available on Environment Waikato’s website, and on the following telephone lines:

Ohinemuri, Kauaeranga and Waihou – 0832 25 334
Piako, Waitoa, Thames tide – 0832 25 335
Waipa, lower Waikato – 0832 25 336
Taupo basin, Awakino – 0832 25 337

Calls cost 12c a minute from a standard telephone. Calls from cell phones and pay phones are charged at cell phone and pay phone rates.