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Published: 2008-04-16 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is advising farmers in the Coromandel, Hauraki Plains and Taupo areas to keep an eye on river levels.

Widespread rain over most of the region on Monday and Tuesday provided relief for farmers affected by drought.

“A combination of rock-hard ground conditions and intense rainfall has seen a lot of water running off into the region’s rivers,” Environment Waikato rivers and catchment services group manager Scott Fowlds said.

“Because rivers were so low after the prolonged dry spell, they have risen rapidly but most have accommodated the deluge well.

“However we have received reports of localised surface flooding in a number of areas throughout the Waikato. The Upper Waihou River, due to rain in the Bay of Plenty area, rose 2-3 metres yesterday. There was an initial peak yesterday and we expect to see a secondary peak later today as the water moves through the system.

“Water levels in the Mangaokewa River at Te Kuiti and the Tauranga-Taupo and Tongariro rivers in the Taupo set off early flood warning alarms but they have been receding as yesterday’s weather system has moved away from the region.

“However, this weather system is now heading back towards the Waikato and a weather warning has been issued for the Taupo area. Weather watches have been issued for the Coromandel and Hauraki Plains areas.

“We are advising farmers in the Taupo, Coromandel and Hauraki Plains, especially those farming in low-lying areas, to keep a close eye on river levels and take any action necessary.

“With more rain forecast, we will be keeping watch throughout the day, particularly on the Waihou River as the peak moves through the system, and on Taupo rivers.”