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Rivers generally receding across region

Monday, 24 January 2011 2:40 p.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff are still working in the field after all rivers have peaked except the Rangitāiki River which is excepted to peak tomorrow.  The Rangitāiki River is still rising steadily, but isn't expected to cause any further flooding issues.

Whakatane River, at Valley Road, peaked at 7.1m about 9.30am - approximately a 30-year event. Good outflows are occurring at the Whakatane River mouth where the spit is actively eroding. This good outflow has yet to assist the river further upstream and the Te Rahu and Kopeopoeo Canals are still very high.  It is expected that the Whakatāne River will recede at a faster rate this afternoon after the high tide earlier today.

The Waimana River, at the Gorge, peaked at 5.2m; the Waioeka River, at the Cableway, peaked at 8m; and the Otara River, at Browns Bridge, peaked at 3.3m.  Kaituna River peaked at 1am and is receding but river levels still quite elevated.

Stoplogs at Ohau Channel are being removed to allow Rotorua Lake to recede.

Field teams will continue to work on shifts through the night.

Rainfall totals for the past 48 hours are up to 280mm in the Rotorua Lakes catchment and up to 270mm in the Rangitāiki River Catchment. Most other catchments have received more than 200mm of rain over the same period.


For further information on weather predictions please go to

For further media information, please contact Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Community Relations Manager, Bronwyn Campbell on (021) 287 9380.

Information forwarded for Rotorua District Council

Rotorua clean-up underway but council warning about streams remains

Rotorua 24.01.11: Rotorua District Council staff and contactors have coped well with a raft of weather related problems across the district during the weekend's big storm and most efforts today were part of a systematic clean-up and inspection phase.

Rainfall records show Rotorua received around 220mm of rain over the weekend - 25mm on Saturday and 195mm on Sunday.

Meanwhile a warning remains in place for residents to avoid swimming or taking fish from streams passing through urban areas and where they discharge into Lake Rotorua, until Wednesday.

Council utilities operations manager Eric Cawte says this is a precautionary measure because of the possibility of a short period of contamination resulting from waste water overflows at the city wastewater treatment plant and at some sewer pump stations during the peak of heavy rain on Sunday.

Toi Te Ora Public Health Service routinely recommends that people avoid swimming in rivers, streams and harbour areas for 48 hours after heavy rain, as a public health precaution.

Mr Cawte also asked residents in the eastern part of Rotorua to be conservative with their use of water as power had been disrupted in the area resulting in the main eastern reservoir getting down to just 16% of water capacity overnight.

"We have had the power out in Rotoma and Rotoiti as well and this has affected our reservoir water levels in that area too, so conservative water use by residents until water levels return to normal would be helpful.

RDC works manager Peter Dine said the council had four road crews mobilised over the weekend dealing with problems on local roads. He said most callouts were made during the day on Sunday and into last night.

Over the weekend they attended to 57 incidents of fallen trees, 15 slips and 27 flooding problems.

The major slips attended to were on Mountain Road, Whirinaki Valley Road and Poutakataka Road.

Surface flooding caused the closure of the Lake Rd/Tarewa Rd intersection at one stage yesterday and part of Ford Rd had to be reduced to single lane because of flood water covering part of the road.

Problems with fallen trees and branches occurred in various locations around the city and in rural areas with some large trees blocking roads until they could be cleared.

This morning (Monday) the council had six crews working around the district some of which had been attending to problems with fallen trees blocking Malfroy Rd and Hamurana Rd, and flooding on Tawhero Street and South Road in Mamaku.

They were also carrying out inspections of the city's infrastructure network, and clean-up work right across the district.

Other council crews had tended to flooding on properties and had assisted with sandbagging some homes in Tarewa Rd.  Castlecorp business manager Mijo Katavic said that his staff had been kept busy responding to numerous calls about sewers backing up in Elizabeth, Hinemoa and Eruera streets, and dealing with fallen trees and branches.

"We also had to close The Redwoods at one stage as falling trees and branches meant there was a serious safety risk in the forest."

On the district's state highways council crews had dealt with relatively minor slips and while there had been some surface flooding, no major disruptions has occurred.

RDC Infrastructure Services group manager Nico Claassen said Rotorua had coped extremely well with what was undoubtedly a serious weather event with the potential for major problems.

"Council crews had been very active throughout the weekend and had put a huge effort into responding to problems as they were reported. I'm proud of what they achieved in difficult conditions and I'm very pleased that our infrastructure had also coped remarkably well.

Mr Claassen also paid tribute to Rotorua residents who he said had clearly treated the weather bomb with respect and taken precautions to minimise the storm impacting on them.

"It appears that people have largely acted sensibly and not put themselves or others at risk, and as a result we have come through this storm without much in the way of serious problems.

For more information from Rotorua District Council:
• Nico Claassen, Group Manager, Infrastructure Services, telephone 07 351 8304, mobile 0272 311 283
• Eric Cawte, Utilities Operations Manager, phone 07 351 8316, mobile 0274 765 969
• Peter Dine, Works Manager, phone 07 351 8214, mobile 0274 929 389
• Mijo Katavic, Castlecorp Business Manager, 07 351 8902, mobile 027 528 2842