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Published: 2009-10-09 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is advising people to keep a close eye on river levels across Waikato over the weekend as rain continues to fall on already saturated catchments.

Emergency management officer Adam Munro said any rain above the forecast levels could see the rivers rise quite quickly.

“After recent persistent rain around Waikato, the ground is like a sodden sponge and has no further capacity to soak up rainfall or snow melting from the hills,” he said.

Environment Waikato’s emergency response team will closely monitor rainfall and river levels over the next 48 hours or so.
 
“The Waikato and Waipa Rivers are expected to remain high over the next few days at least, and landowners in low lying areas can expect surface flooding.”

Environment Waikato’s operations team will be ready to carry out inspections to ensure stop banks and flood pumps are performing as designed.

Information about rainfall and river levels is available on Environment Waikato’s website, www.ew.govt.nz.

It is also available on the following telephone information 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 12 cents per minute from a standard telephone.  Calls from cell phones and pay phones are charged at cell phone and pay phone rates.