Update at 1615 hours:
River levels in parts of the Waikato are expected to remain high for at least several days after more wild weather has closed roads on the Coromandel and led to flooding of waterways.The Karangahake Gorge road (state highway 2) was closed and access to Paeroa via the Criterion bridge on state highway 26 was blocked off due to flooding of the Ohinemuri River.
Up to 260 millimetres of rain has fallen on the Coromandel between midnight Sunday and 3pm today – more than expected – and rain is anticipated for several more days there.
The Piako, Waihou and Waitoa rivers are likely to be very swollen over coming days. Regional council stopbanks are in place to prevent flooding in local communities and these will be closely monitored.
Further west, the recent rain is expected to prolong flooding of the Waikato and Waipa rivers which rose after heavy rains the weekend before last.
Duty emergency management officer Greg Ryan said farmers should move stock to higher ground if necessary and advised all residents to stay up to date with information regarding river levels.
“People need to be aware of the potential for inundation of flood plains, surface flooding generally and for transport links to be disrupted.
“We are hoping the extent of flooding that directly effects communities and individuals will be kept to a minimum. Our stopbanks will certainly play a part in that.
“But we’ll keep a close eye on the situation and provide advice as necessary, as well as liaise other agencies over any flood response required.
“Clearly we appear to be in for a few very wet days on top of what has already been a very wet July, so risks will be elevated and people need to take this into account as they go about their business.”