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Online information hub established for Waikato rainfall

Online information hub established for Waikato rainfall and flood events

An online hub for rainfall and flood related information has been set up by Waikato Regional Council to help people more easily keep up to date with severe weather events in the region.

It can be found at waikatoregion.govt.nz/flood-room.

The page has gone live just a day before a rapidly deepening low from the Tasman Sea is predicated by the MetService to bring heavy rain to the Coromandel Peninsula, and severe wind to the Waikato region.

Council regional hazards team leader Rick Liefting said: “Between 100 and 150mm of rain is forecast to fall over Thursday and into early Friday, reaching peak intensity levels of 20-30mm per hour.

“This is not an uncommon amount of rainfall for the Coromandel Peninsula – but it coincides with a king tide on Thursday evening which will hinder the ability of fast-flowing coastal rivers and streams to run out.

Mr Liefting added: “Combined with dry catchments there is the real potential for localised flooding and coastal inundation. That’s because any rainfall is likely to run straight off the land and into our waterways, rather than being absorbed.”

In the early hours of tomorrow morning, at low tide, a regional council river works team is going to be deepening the Pitoone Stream mouth at Kuaotunu to relieve the pressure expected to be created by rising water levels upstream.

Mr Liefting urged people to use commonsense in and around waterways on the Coromandel and expect fast rising water levels from Thursday afternoon. People camping close to waterways on the Coromandel Peninsula should consider moving to higher ground, and are urged to closely monitor MetService information, Mr Liefting said.

Roads may also be affected, so motorists should follow road information from the NZ Transport Agency and local councils.

Meanwhile, the Waikato Region Civil Defence Group emergency management office (GEMO) is working with local civil defence and other emergency services preparing for the possibility of localised flooding.

Through the wider Waikato region, GEMO duty officer Danielle Kruger urged people to ensure any loose items, such as trampolines and umbrellas, were well secured or stored inside.

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