Forecast heavy rain no cause for alarm

Heavy rain is falling across the Bay of Plenty today, with MetService weather warnings in place. But Bay of Plenty Regional Council says they are keeping a careful eye on the situation and there’s currently no cause for alarm.

The Eastern Bay will be most affected by the forecast rainfall. Metservice is forecasting 60-80mm of rain in areas west of Whakatāne from midday to 10pmtoday (Wednesday). Areas east of Whakatāne are expected to receive 70 to 100mm from 1pm to midnight, especially about the ranges.

This amount of rain may cause rivers and streams to rise rapidly, and surface flooding and slips are possible. Driving conditions could also be hazardous, so people are urged to take care on the roads.

Duty flood manager Roger Waugh says while some rivers may get to their first warning levels there is no cause for concern for any major flooding. First warning levels generally mean farmers in low-lying areas move stock to higher ground.

“Ground conditions are pretty wet out there so some areas are may feel the impact of the rain more quickly. Some of our waterways have changed course since the big events so people should take extra care and farmers should move stock early around these areas.”

“Drainage schemes are likely to have minor surface water ponding for a few hours, as well as other low-lying areas across the Bay.”

In the Rotorua lakes region, there may be a small increase in Lake Ōkāreka’s levels but everything is in place to manage any issues. The Okere Gates are fully open for their annual drawdown and will remain open for the duration of this event.

Council staff and Bay of Plenty Civil Defence are monitoring the situation and will provide regular updates.

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