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Published: 2007-07-16 00:00:00

Two schools have been evacuated as a precautionary measure following heavy rain that has caused flooding and road closures in parts of the Coromandel.

Parawai School and Thames High School were evacuated this afternoon and SH25 is closed between Thames and Coromandel, between Whitianga and Coroglen and in the vicinity of Hikuai.

A localised, intensive band of rain over the upper-middle Coromandel has seen 212mm of rain recorded at the Pinnacles monitoring station over the past 24 hours, peaking at a maximum intensity of 23mm an hour.

Water levels have risen rapidly in the Tairua River the Kauaeranga River. The Tairua River was flowing at about 215 cubic metres per second at 4pm and the Kauaeranga River was flowing at about 431 cubic metres per second at 4.10pm.

“Rain is currently clearing from the north east, however it is expected to continue in the southern Thames area for the next 2-3 hours,” Environment Waikato emergency management officer Jan Hania said.

High tide at 9pm is expected to exacerbate flooding in low-lying areas.

“People are advised to take extreme caution on the roads and to expect delays in getting home to some flooded areas,” Mr Hania said.