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Rainfall eases but some rivers yet to peak (1)

Friday, 27 May 2011 12:00 p.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff are continuing to monitor river levels across the region with two rivers still to peak.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Environmental Hazards Group Manager Ken Tarboton said rain had eased but river levels were still being monitored with the Whakatāne and Rangitāiki rivers expected to peak later today.

"The other eastern Bay rivers have peaked and are now receding but because the catchments are so saturated it will be at least another 12 hours before the last of the receding rivers are below warning levels."

"Our crews worked throughout the night with only a few minor issues encountered, though we're aware there is plenty of rural land that has been inundated with the heavy rainfall," Mr Tarboton said. 

Early assessments show that daily rainfall totals reached a two year to five year return period in the eastern Bay of Plenty with rainfall of 150mm to 220mm being recorded. Further towards the East Cape the Haparapara rain gauge recorded 280mm.

Boaties were also being reminded of the need to ensure vessels are removed from moorings when heavy rain is forecast after a boat broke off its mooring in the early hours of the morning.

"Debris built up around the vessel causing it to come away and be carried out across the Whakatane River bar. The mooring has snapped and the vessel has run aground on the Piripai Spit," Mr Tarboton said.

As a precaution the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Harbourmaster (Eastern) has imposed a two hour restriction either side of low tide for deeper draught vessels until the mooring has been removed from the harbour entrance.

Boaties were also being asked to take extreme care when out on the region's waterways and along the coast this weekend with debris still moving towards the river mouths.

 All boaties need to be aware of these navigational hazards and take extra precautions when venturing out onto the water.
The Whakatane River bar is currently unworkable. Boaties should listen to their local radio station for updates on the situation.
For latest updates on the weather event across the region, please visit the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's website www.boprc.govt.nz or Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/boprc
For live monitoring and regional rainfall data go to www.boprc.govt.nz and click on the Live Monitoring Link.
 
For further information on weather predictions please go to www.metservice.com

For roading information please visit http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/current-conditions/highway-info/road/7873/north-island.html

Flooded paddocks highres