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Published: 2002-07-12 00:00:00

Heavy rain over several hours today has caused localised problems at Mercer and over the Coromandel Peninsula.

Two small areas of State Highway One have water lapping at the edges south of Meremere power Station and north of Mercer where the road dips lower. Heavy rain has fallen in the Hunua Ranges and the Mangatawhiri stream has overflowed, with more rain expected over the next four to six hours.

The rain band has stalled over the northern Waikato between Paeroa and Mercer bringing 5 to 10mm an hour to the area.

Environment Waikato’s Flood Response Team is keeping watch tonight, using pumps to shift water from low lying areas near Mangatawhiri and organising sand bagging for areas at risk near the highway.

The Coromandel and Kaimai Ranges are also experiencing heavy rain. The Waihou, Kauaeranga and Ohinemuri Rivers are rising slightly.

In the upper Waikato River system rain has eased and hydro company Mighty River Power has created considerably more storage space in the system to accommodate rain over the weekend.

Flows from Karapiro will be eased back to reduce flows to the lower river.

Environment Waikato is warning recreational river users to be aware that the river is high, with maximum flows in places, and that submerged objects could pose a hazard in safely using the water.