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Emergency response to monitor weather over weekend


31 July 2008

Emergency response team to monitor weather over the weekend

Environment Waikato's emergency response team will remain on standby throughout the weekend to monitor rainfall and river levels and keep land owners and agencies updated.

Two severe weather events over the past week have left catchments saturated, with more rain forecast to fall over the Waikato region.

"The Waipa and Waikato Rivers are rising following heavy rain in the upper Waipa catchment overnight and the MetService is predicting up to another 120mm over the next day," Environment Waikato emergency management officer Adam Munro said.

"We are expecting both rivers to keep rising over this weekend, but at this stage we are expecting our flood control schemes to cope and keep water contained within stop banks.

"However, rivers will respond rapidly to rainfall over the next few days, so it's important that we keep a close watch on the situation."

Mr Munro said it could be days before water flows in the Waikato River peak.

Environment Waikato staff will continue to alert district councils, land owners and other agencies as flood alarms are triggered and operational staff will deal with any scheme maintenance issues that arise.

Meanwhile, the Awakino River is also responding to rainfall and is currently peaking and this is being monitored closely as high tide approaches this evening.

Information on rainfall and river levels, and up to date situation reports on the weather are available at www.ew.govt.nz, or on the following info lines:

Ohinemuri, Kauaeranga and Waihou - 0832 25 334
Piako, Waitoa, Thames tide - 0832 25 335
Waipa, lower Waikato - 0832 25 336
Taupo basin, Awakino - 0832 25 337

Calls cost 12c a minute from a standard telephone. Calls from cell phones and pay phones are charged at cell phone and pay phone rates.


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