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Preparations continue for a night of rain


28 July 2004

Preparations continue for a night of rain

For immediate release: Wednesday 28 July 2004, noon Environment Bay of Plenty continues today to prepare for a night of heavy rain, though the MetService now expects the weather to clear early tomorrow.

“With stopbanks and catchments absolutely sodden, we have to be very vigilant,” says the regional council’s group manager community relations Bruce Fraser.

At 2am, TrustPower finished lowering the Matahina Dam to its minimum level, giving it more capacity to store water and so take pressure off the Rangitaiki River.

Environment Bay of Plenty continues to strengthen the area around a breach in the Rangitaiki River stopbank. The breach itself is now filled in, with a wall of rock built up to well above river water level. Using bulldozers, a bund of earth has been constructed around the edge of the large bowl gouged out when the stopbank breached, creating a double barrier. Work is also going well on strengthening a damaged area of stopbank downstream of Te Teko.

Mr Fraser says good progress is being made in pumping water from the Rangitaiki Plains. Technicians have arrived from outside the region to relieve staff who have been checking and maintaining the pumps, which number more than 80. The pumps have been working “long and hard” over the last few days, Mr Fraser says.

ENDS

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