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Published: 2008-08-04 00:00:00

Environment Waikato staff are monitoring a stop bank at Mangatawhiri this morning, in anticipation of floodwaters spilling onto about 40 hectares of farmland.

The farmer is aware of the situation and has moved stock from the area.

Meanwhile, staff working to maintain stop banks and flood pumps have switched to using quad bikes instead of utility vehicles in a bid to minimise damage to sodden pasture.

They have been working on around-the-clock standby to keep flood pumps going.

Environment Waikato’s emergency response team remains on heightened alert as heavy rain continues to fall on Lake Taupo and river catchments.

Lake Taupo is still below its maximum operating level and Environment Waikato staff have been liaising with Mighty River Power to manage Waikato River flows as much as possible while rain has continued to fall in the region.

“We are doing our best to ensure extra flows from a nearly full Lake Taupo and hydro schemes in the upper Waikato River don’t create additional problems further downstream,” Environment Waikato emergency management officer Adam Munro said.

“Water is still being contained within Environment Waikato’s stop banks along the Waipa and Waikato Rivers, but the rivers are still rising and we’re asking people to be aware they may well remain high throughout the week.”

There are more showers forecast for the region this week, but, according to the MetService, they are not expected to be heavy until Friday.  Environment Waikato is hoping this will provide some respite for river systems and saturated catchments.