Council watching weather situation
Thursday, 26 May 2011 3:30 p.m.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff are keeping a close watch on developing weather conditions and field crews are on standby to respond to any rivers and drainage issues that may arise.
The Metservice has forecast heavy rain to develop from 2pm Thursday to 9am Friday with 150 to 200mm of rain expected to fall during this period. Peak intensities of 25mm/hr are expected and 60-80mm/hr could fall about the coast during this period.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Flood Duty Manager Graeme O'Rourke said there were pre-emptive warnings on all major river schemes except for the Rangitaki - Tarawera scheme.
"A number of precautionary measures have been taken with pumps and drainage systems in preparation for heavy rainfall and staff will be on standby throughout the night to respond if required," said Mr O'Rourke.
He also said that because of the already saturated catchments, river levels may rise quickly.
"Farmers should move to stock to higher ground now if they haven't already as the Otara, Waioeka, Waimana and Whakatāne Rivers are expected peak later this evening," said Mr O'Rourke.
Rivers levels are beginning to respond with first warning levels now activated on Kaituna, Otara and Waimana Rivers.
Lake levels in Rotorua are at their maximum levels and the Ōkere Gates in Rotorua have been opened to maximum flows from Lake Rotoiti into the Kaituna River.
Approximate rainfall totals in the last 24hours are:
• Western Bay 40mm
• Rotorua Lakes 80mm
• Whakatāne 50mm
• Eastern Bay 40-90mm
The public should be aware that the weather system may bring periods of heavy rain during the next 24 hours. Caution should be taken while driving as slips and surface flooding may occur.
For further information on weather predictions please go to www.metservice.com
For live monitoring and regional rainfall data go to www.boprc.govt.nz and click on the live monitoring link.