05 January 2018

Last night’s wild weather has now largely passed through the Bay of Plenty, with no major impacts.

High winds and heavy rain brought down power lines in parts of Rotorua and caused slips on some roads, with a few trees also coming down in Rotorua and Whakatāne. The Bay received around 100mm of rain, with winds gusting up to 85km in Whakatāne and 45km throughout the wider region.

The Waimana River reached its first warning level, with the Kaituna reaching its second warning level this morning. The Tarawera River will peak about mid-morning today, but at a level that is a two-year flow. Bay of Plenty Regional Council duty flood manager Mark Townsend says there is no cause for concern.

Lake Matahina has risen slightly, causing TrustPower to resume spilling water from the Matahina Dam during the night. The amount of spill will gradually increase to keep the level of Lake Matahina below 73.15. Again, there is no cause for concern, Mark says.

State Highway 2 through the Waioeka Gorge is closed due to a slip. Motorists are advised to postpone any non-urgent travel and use State Highway 35 as an alternative route. There has also been a slip on State Highway 35 east of Opotiki that is blocking a lane, and slips in the Rotomas. Please take care on the roads and drive to the conditions. Visit www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic for more roading information.

While the storm has peaked, heavy rain bursts are possible this morning and wind gusts of 120km/h are still expected in exposed places until this evening. High swells are also still expected, and these may still lead to coastal inundation and surface flooding in some areas.