03 January 2018

With heavy rain and high winds expected to hit the Bay of Plenty over the next couple of days, lake and river levels in the region are being closely watched.

Rivers have not reached their first warning levels and are not expected to at this stage, but farmers are advised to be mindful of stock beside smaller streams, which can rise more rapidly. Campers and others near the coast should also be extra-vigilant of possible inundation and waves.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council duty flood manager Peter Blackwood says 120-160mm of rain is expected across the region from 9pm tomorrow (Thursday) to 6am on Friday. Coastal areas and streams around Rotorua, Tauranga and the western Bay of Plenty are expected to be the worst affected.

“This may result in minor river flooding, and some coastal flooding particularly given recent high tides,” he says. “However, based on the expected wind speed we wouldn’t expect any homes to be impacted by waves and coastal flooding.”

Wind gusts are predicted to reach 120km/h in some places.

Heavy rain can cause rivers and streams to rise rapidly, as well as surface flooding and slips, so it is important people are prepared, says Emergency Management Bay of Plenty Group Duty Controller Jono Meldrum.

 Useful preparation tips include tying down outdoor furniture and loose objects and ensuring gutters are clear of leaves.

“A little bit of planning goes a long way,” Jono says.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Bay of Plenty Civil Defence is monitoring the situation and will keep the community informed. People are also advised to stay updated by listening to the local radio, or by visiting the BOP Civil Defence website (www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz)  or Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BOPCivilDefence).