Waikato Regional Council says it’s closely monitoring the possibility that there will be further heavy rain on the Coromandel and Kaimai Ranges from early next week.
While the forecast for the next few days is generally good around the region, Metservice has issued a severe weather outlook advisory for heavy rain on Sunday and Monday on the Coromandel and Kaimai Ranges.
“Any further rain on already saturated Waikato catchments raises the prospect of further river flooding, road closures and other problems,” said emergency management officer Greg Ryan.
“We will be receiving updates from Metservice over the next few days and will issue river flooding-related advice as necessary.”
Mr Ryan said that the current situation in the east of the region was that the Piako and Waitoa rivers remain heavily swollen following rains earlier in the week, while the Ohinemuri and Waihou have begun to recede. Further west, the lower Waikato River remains high, as does the Waipa.
The council is keeping a particularly close eye on the Piako and Waitoa as peak levels move through the river systems.
There’s potential for emergency ponding zones in paddocks near the Piako River to be receiving water from the Piako and the Waitoa over the next 48 hours. This is an important part of the Piako flood management scheme which takes pressure off land beside the lower Piako.
Mr Ryan said the council’s extensive flood management network – which helps keep communities safe and protects productive farm land – was expected to help prevent any significant damage to property at this stage.
“However, we are monitoring the situation carefully and have people out on the ground regularly checking stopbanks and flood pumps,” said Mr Ryan.
For the Ohinemuri and Waihou, levels are forecast to decline steadily over coming days. However, the lower Waikato River is expected to remain heavily swollen for the rest of the week, especially around Mercer. The Waikato River at Hamilton is also elevated due to the recent rains and residents can expect to see levels slowly recede there over coming days.