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Flood alert system helps keep campers dry

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Flood alert system helps keep campers dry

Horizons Regional Council is monitoring river levels and taking precautionary measures to clear campers from Totara Reserve and Vinegar Hill as wet weather reaches the Region.

Horizons emergency manager Ian Lowe says a public flood warning system first installed at the Reserves in 2011 alerts Horizons’ emergency management staff when the Pohangina and Rangitikei Rivers reach pre-set river levels.

When the Pohangina River reaches 1.8 metres at the Council’s Piripiri monitoring site upstream, Horizons emergency management staff are alerted. When it reaches 2 metres, a siren sounds at the old Totara Reserve camping site, prompting campers and visitors to move to the new camp site by Camp Rangi Woods or evacuate to Highland Home.

“We’re expecting the Pohangina River to reach 2 metres around 8 tonight and are currently working through our procedures with the camp caretaker and manager of Highland Home in preparation,” Mr Lowe says.

“While it’s fairly unlikely anyone will be wanting to camp out there in this weather, our aim is to be proactive, clear the old camp in daylight and close the gate to restrict entry.

“The main camping ground has a similar system which activates when the river reaches 3 metres at Piripiri, but we’re not anticipating it will reach that height.”

The Vinegar Hill system activates when the Rangitikei River reaches 5.5 metres at Mangaweka, which it is expected to do at 10pm. Mr Lowe says similar precautions are being taken at this Reserve to ensure the safety of vistors and campers.

“Our team will continue to monitor river levels overnight although we are not anticipating any widespread flooding at this stage and weather is forecast to improve tomorrow.”

Information about river heights and rainfall is recorded across the Region and publically available in close to real time via the resource management section of Horizons’ website. See www.horizons.govt.nz for more information.


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