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Rainfall heavy but no repeat of last year’s flood

Wednesday 18 May 2005

Rainfall heavy but no repeat of last year’s flood

Environment Bay of Plenty does not expect a repeat of last year’s major flood event in the eastern Bay of Plenty in spite of logging up to 170mm of rainfall on the Rangitaiki Plains overnight. At Thornton, 44mm of rain fell in a single hour.

The council’s manager technical services, Peter Blackwood, says all eastern Bay of Plenty rivers are well below first warning levels. The Rangitaiki River flow is forecast to peak at around 160 cumecs. Last July, at the height of the floods, it measured 766 cumecs.

Rain has now eased off but forecasts are for further rain today, mostly in the western Bay of Plenty. Mr Blackwood expects minor flooding of the Rangitaiki River but little likelihood of significant flooding in Whakatane and Waimana. Recorded data shows no flooding problems at the Nukuhou recorder so Wainui Road should not be seriously affected by flooding.

Overnight and up until 9am, up to 170mm of rain fell at Pongakawa and 150mm at Awakaponga. “With this intensity of rainfall, we would obviously expect significant isolated surface flooding in towns and on the plains – but nowhere near the scale of July 2004 floods,” Mr Blackwood says.

Environment Bay of Plenty staff will monitor the situation closely.

ENDS

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