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Flood team on standby after weather warnings

MEDIA RELEASE

27 February 2009

Flood team on standby after weather warnings

Environment Waikato’s flood management team has been placed on standby after heavy rain and wind warnings were issued for northern and eastern parts of the region.

Up to 250 mm of rain is forecast to fall on the Coromandel Ranges during the 24 hours from 6am tomorrow. Strong north-easterly winds are also expected during much of Saturday, with gusts of up to 120 km/h affecting the Firth of Thames and Hauraki Plains..

EW’s duty emergency management officer Greg Ryan said flood management staff were on standby in case the weather led to flooding, and the council was liaising closely with Thames Valley Civil Defence, which was also on standby.

The council would closely monitor rainfall and river levels, and issue alerts about flooding as required, Mr Ryan said.

“We’ll also keep a watch over our stop banks and flood management systems to ensure they’re standing up to any flooding pressures.”

Mr Ryan said people should remember that very wet and windy weather could create hazards such as flash flooding, slippery roads, power cuts and heavy seas.

“We urge the public to be vigilant over the weekend as this bad weather passes through the region.”

Mr Ryan said rainfall and river level information would be available on EW’s website, while weather and roading information would be available from, respectively, Metservice and AA Roadwatch.

EW’s website is www.ew.govt.nz.

ENDS

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