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Watch out for Waikato waterways even though worst of heavy rain over

10.30am update 

People are being urged to stay alert for rising river levels and potential flooding even though the recent bad weather has finished in the Waikato and the sun is expected to shine over the weekend.

Waikato Regional Council’s hazards team leader Rick Liefting says various rivers are likely to keep rising over the next few days.

“As the recent rain works its way through our river systems, some of them will be continuing to rise.

“That means ongoing potential for river flooding hazards and the existing surface flooding will also take some time to recede.

“We urge people to stay alert around waterways and avoid taking any unnecessary risks.”

The main river systems to keep an eye on are the Lower Waikato River (below Lake Karapiro), and parts of the Waipa and Piako rivers. The Waikato is likely to stay high for the foreseeable future which will result in already flooded areas unlikely to recede quickly. The Waipa River peak is heading downstream and is due to peak at Whatawhata tomorrow lunchtime. Surface waters in the Piako River system catchment are also unlikely to recede quickly.

Mr Liefting said the council would work closely with Mercury, which operates the hydro dam system, and other councils and emergency services on monitoring, managing and responding to river level issues.

“From the public’s perspective we urge people not to get complacent now that the heaviest rain is over. There are still a range of risks about and people should make sure they keep themselves and their families safe while the river systems return to normal.”

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