Stopbank overtopping due to the exceptionally swollen state of the Piako and Waitoa rivers in eastern Waikato is continuing today as high rainfall levels continue to work their way through the waterways. This event has seen more water enter the design ponding zones than in recorded history.
Hauraki District Council civil defence confirms two houses on Tramline Rd near the Piako River self-evacuated due to surface flooding this morning. The actual houses aren’t affected at this stage but the families left as a precaution.
Waikato Regional Council’s hazards team leader Rick Liefting said overtopping of stopbanks in the area, and the spilling of water to ponding areas, was part of the way the flood management scheme is designed to operate. There are specific designated ponding areas in the Tramline Rd area.
“We can expect to see elevated water levels within the ponding areas for at least the next few days.
“It’s also possible further overtopping will occur into more designated ponding areas around Kaihere Road as the peak water levels work their way through the system over the next few days.”
Mr Liefting said designated ponding areas are part of the wider Piako Flood Protection Scheme aimed at alleviating flood risk for the wider Hauraki Plains.
“The good news is that water levels are receding in upstream areas giving us a more favourable outlook for river levels and surface flooding for the rest of the week.
Meanwhile, in the lower Waikato River catchment high water levels remain set to continue this week.
The regional council is working closely with Mercury to manage flows through the Waikato River hydro-electricity system to minimise flooding issues.
“Over the last 5-6 weeks of significant rain events council flood response staff have been tirelessly monitoring and maintaining our flood protection assets including stopbanks, floodgates and pump stations over the course of this event. We’ll continue to watch the situation closely and provide advice as required.”