Updated: Heavy rain warnings
Rain eased overnight after heavy downpours caused widespread flooding in the Coromandel and Hauraki Plains.
However, heavy rain warnings are still in place for the area and flooding and slips will continue to affect a number of roads over the next 24 hours.
Waikato Regional Council emergency management officer Greg Ryan said the swollen Ohinemuri, Piako, Waihou and Waitoa rivers were mostly coping with the higher than usual volumes of water.
Stoplogs blocking off State Highway 26 at the Criterion bridge entrance to Paearoa were removed this morning after the Ohinemuri River receded from its overnight peak.
"However, the Piako, Waitoa and Waihou rivers have yet to reach expected flood peaks. Landowners near these rivers are encouraged to keep a close eye on the situation," Mr Ryan said.
"River levels generally remain very high and the council will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep a check on the condition of stopbanks and pumps designed to protect local communities."
Incessant rain over the past few days will prolong flooding of the Waikato and Waipa rivers, which remain swollen. These rivers are expected to be at levels similar to last week for several days.
"We ask the public to be mindful of the elevated levels of risk related to the flooding of waterways and to stay abreast of the latest information on weather conditions," Mr Ryan said.
The weather forecast is for improving conditions this week.
• The Karangahake Gorge on State Highway 2 between Waihi and Paeroa is still closed. River levels through the gorge are receding but significant work is still needed to clear slips and debris; therefore the road will be closed for the rest of the day.
• Alternative routes are available and motorists are advised to either:
• Drive south on SH2 from Waihi then SH29 via Tauranga over the Kaimais (for Bay of Plenty motorists). However, motorists should also be aware that there is a short detour further down SH2 at Apata and caution is required (see below), or;
• Drive north on SH25 and then SH25A between Kopu and Hikuai (for Coromandel motorists).
• State Highway 25 between Thames and Coromandel Town is now open. Motorists are being cautioned to take care as debris is still being cleared from this stretch of SH25 and the NZTA is continuing to monitor this section closely.
• A section of State Highway 25 between Coromandel Town and Whitianga is still closed due to a major slip at between Whangapoua and Te Rerenga.
• State Highway 29 on the lower Kaimais (Waikato side) - the cleanup is continuing in relation to some isolated small slips and a number of pot holes. Contractors confirm there are no delays to traffic and both lanes are open – but motorists are asked to take care when travelling through the clean up areas.
BAY OF PLENTY
• On SH2, the Athenree Gorge remains open to one lane. Work crews are currently working on clearing this slip.
• Also on SH2 at Apata, a short section of road is closed between Katikati and Tauranga due to a slip and will remain closed for the rest of the day. A short detour is in place along Apata Station Road. Crews are working to clear the slip now.
• SH2 between Bruce Road and the Domain Road intersection, surface flooding has caused the closure of the north bound lane but the south bound lane is clear. A detour for north bound drivers is in place along Papamoa Beach Road and it will remain in place for the remainder of the day. Motorists are advised to expect delays.
• SH30 at Rotoma Hill - there are isolated slips. The road is open but drivers still need to take care.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you agree with Hamilton City Council's plan to introduce a minimum living wage for its lowest paid workers?Related story: Hamilton City Council backs living wage