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Published: 2008-07-31 00:00:00

Environment Waikato emergency management staff remain on alert as the Waipa and Waikato rivers continue to rise.

“The MetService expects up to another 120mm of rain to fall in the upper Waipa River catchment over the next 24 hours,” Environment Waikato emergency management officer Adam Munro said.

“The catchment is saturated, so any rain will run straight into the river system.

“However, at this stage the Lower Waikato Waipa River Flood Control Scheme is expected to cope with existing flows, and water coming through should be contained within stop banks.”

Environment Waikato is working with Mighty River Power to manage Waikato River flows and will be notifying district councils, farmers, land occupiers and other stakeholders as flood alarms are triggered.

So far, early level alarms have been triggered at a number of sites including Te Kuiti, Otorohanga, Whatawhata, Hamilton, Ngaruawahia, Huntly and Rangiriri.

The Lower Waikato Waipa Flood Control Scheme, which is designed to cope with a one-in-100-year flood event, is performing well at present.  Environment Waikato staff members are dealing with operational issues as they arise.

Environment Waikato technical staff are helping to assess how the Waikato River will respond to the rain and the council is liaising with the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group and other agencies as required.

Meanwhile, improving weather has provided some respite for the Coromandel and Hauraki areas, which bore the brunt of yesterday’s heavy rain.

Flows have peaked in the Kauaeranga and Tairua rivers in the Coromandel and the Ohinemuri at Karangahake.

Flood peaks are currently moving through the lower Waihou and Piako rivers on the Hauraki Plains.

“We will continue to monitor Coromandel and Hauraki catchments closely, given they are saturated and likely to respond quickly to any further rainfall,” Mr Munro said.