11 March 2017

In response to heavy rain the Bay of Plenty Regional Council has issued a first warning for the Kaituna River; the Okere Gates being opened fully to manage the level of Lake Rotoiti. The gates are likely to remain open all weekend, closing down all commercial rafting on the Kaituna River. This first warning level for the Kaituna River is a low level warning with the river contained in the main channel with no risk of stopbank overtopping or breaches.

The forecasted rainfall overnight was concentrated west of Whakatāne and through into the Rotorua Catchments.  Rainfall totals have exceeded 100mm in the last 24 hours at a number of monitoring sites in these areas, and outlined in the rainfall summary report issued this morning.

Roger Waugh, Duty Flood Manager for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council said they will continue to monitor pump stations and waterways throughout the weekend, providing updates through to Civil Defence Emergency Management and local councils as required.

Metservice are forecasting the rain to ease around midday today but with further falls expected Sunday a weather warning remains in place.