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Environment Waikato keeps watch on river levels

The Waikato has ended up receiving only light rain this afternoon, giving the region’s rivers a chance to recede after heavy rain on Monday and Tuesday.

But Environment Waikato is still warning of potential problems, after telling farmers to be wary of rising river levels earlier today.

Monitoring sites across the region received up to 9mm of rainfall from 5am-5pm today.

Water levels in the Waihou River are still high as water slowly moves through the system, but are now beginning to drop in the upper end. Water flows in the river rose from about 23 cumecs (cubic metres per second) last week to peak at 85 cumecs this week.

Environment Waikato river and catchment services group manger Scott Fowlds said the Whatawhata and Waipa rivers were still high, but were below flood warning levels and were now receding.

Rivers in the Taupo and Coromandel catchments, where water tends to move through the system quickly, have also receded.

But Environment Waikato will continue to watch the weather situation and the council is advising farmers and others affected by river flows to keep an eye on river levels.

“The rain has been patchy so far this afternoon, but there are more showers forecast for this evening and into tomorrow and a thunder watch has been issued for eastern parts of the region between Taupo and Coromandel,” Mr Fowlds said.

“This could bring rainfall intensities of up to 40mm an hour in isolated areas, which may cause more surface flooding.”

Information on rainfall and river levels in the Waikato region is available at www.ew.govt.nz.

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