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EW optimistic over river levels

Environment Waikato says the region’s rivers appear to be coping reasonably well with moderate to heavy overnight rain.

In the 24 hours till 9am this morning, some 60mm to 100mm of rain fell in hill country in the Tongariro National Park and the upper Waikato and Waipa river catchments. The rest of the region generally received between 20mm and 30mm of rain. Rain has been easing since 8am and several days of fine weather are now expected.

As a result of the rain on already saturated catchments:
· The Tongariro River has risen but is below flood levels and not causing any concerns.
· Lake Taupo is very slightly over its maximum control level of 357.25 metres above sea level and is expected to keep rising due to inflows - EW will continue to work closely with Mighty River Power to reduce the level of Lake Taupo to well below its maximum control level as soon as possible.
· Waipa River catchment waterways have been rising and are likely to get to levels seen last week – those levels didn’t cause any major problems.
· Waikato River levels are holding steady but will rise in the lower Waikato due to the stronger flows in the Waipa – but, again, lower Waikato levels are not expected to be higher than last week.

“Given the way rivers are currently reacting, and the fact that we’ve now got a period of fine weather forecast, EW is optimistic that the rain we’ve had won’t cause any significant flooding problems in the region,” said emergency management officer Sarah Basheer.

“But we can’t afford to be complacent and will maintain a close watch over rainfall and river levels and let the public know if the situation changes.”

Ms Basheer said EW would also be working with Mighty River Power to manage flows through the Waikato River hydro electricity system.

 

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