Evacuations in Edgecumbe are largely complete following stop bank breaches earlier today.

A breach of the College Road floodwalls at Edgecumbe occurred shortly after 9am. Residents have been evacuated from the affected area in northwest Edgecumbe.

Members of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s engineering team have blocked the road at the Edgecumbe railway underpass to limit the spread of floodwaters. The Reids Central floodway spillway is also operating; to reduce the flows into Edgecumbe the floodway entrance level is being lowered and this will increase flow down the floodway.

Precautionary evacuations are occurring at Kōkōhinau Bend as there is a risk of a stop bank breach due to the extended high flows in the Rangitāiki River. Regional council staff will continue to monitor the stop banks and spillway throughout the day tomorrow.

The entire Eastern Bay has been inundated with rainfall for an extended period. All Eastern Bay of Plenty rivers reached warning levels, with the Rangitāiki and Whakatāne/Tauranga Rivers reaching record levels.

The Galatea Plains tributaries including the Whirinaki River have received a very large amount of rain with river and stream breakouts and damage expected to be reported over the coming days.

The Whakatāne River at Valley Road peaked at 8.33m. at 6am today (April 6). Overtopping and a breach have occurred at the left bank on Rewatu Road and evacuations are continuing.

There has also been 1 report of overtopping on the right bank above Valley Road; this is not of major consequence. The Whakatāne at Wharf peaked at high tide at 0230hrs at a level of 2.7m and within 300mm of overtopping on sections of the concrete wall. Seepages were also evident at high tide.

All stop logs have been installed across the lower Whakatāne scheme with no reports of overtopping, and stop bank inspections have been carried out along the length of the Whakatane township with no major stop bank issues found.

All other rivers have peaked and receding as expected.

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