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Published: 2008-08-16 00:00:00

Waikato Rivers have responded to overnight rain in the region, but falls were not as heavy as expected.

Environment Waikato’s rainfall monitoring stations have received 6-18mm over the past 12 hours.

In the upper Waikato area, Lake Taupo has risen slightly in response to the rain, but is still 7cm below its control level.

“Lake Taupo is currently steady but there is more rain on the way, with another 30-40mm predicted to fall on the catchment over the next 24 hours,” Environment Waikato emergency management officer Adam Munro said.

“If this rain eventuates the lake level could increase, but it should stay within its control level.”

Further downstream in the middle Waikato area, tributary inflows into the Waikato hydro system are still relatively high, but are stabilising.

Environment Waikato and Mighty River Power continue working together to carefully manage flows through the Waikato River system and are using available hydro storage to assist in reducing outflows from Karapiro.

“The MetService is not expecting significant rainfall in the middle Waikato catchment over the next few days, so this should provide some respite for rivers,” Mr Munro said.

“In Hamilton, the Waikato River is still under 16m, below houses and roads.  Residents can expect levels to remain high but steady over the next few days.”

Showers are forecast for the lower Waikato catchment over the next few days, but rainfall is not expected to be significant, and this should ease pressure on the area’s rivers.

However, residents can expect levels to remain high and to continue to rise further through the lower Waikato.

“Based on our current predictions, the lower Waikato River could approach last week’s levels, however reduced outflows from Karapiro today will help to ease the situation,” Mr Munro said.

The Waipa River is currently rising and is expected to do so throughout the day, but its levels are not expected to get as high as they did last week.

Environment Waikato’s flood response team will remain on alert throughout the weekend.

Information on rainfall and river levels is available here, and on the following telephone lines:

Ohinemuri, Kauaeranga and Waihou – 0832 25 334
Piako, Waitoa, Thames tide – 0832 25 335
Waipa, lower Waikato – 0832 25 336
Taupo basin, Awakino – 0832 25 337

Calls cost 12c a minute from a standard telephone. Calls from cell phones and pay phones are charged at cell phone and pay phone rates.