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Waikato farmers can call regional council for flooding advice

Issued at 2.45pm 

Waikato Regional Council is reminding farmers they can call in for advice about any river level or surface flooding issues following the recent heavy rain.

The council’s number is 0800 800 401.

River level information is also available at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz (external link) and farmers can sign up for text alerts about river levels in their areas. 

As noted in a council statement earlier this week, farmers should move stock to higher ground where necessary. 

“We are happy to discuss with farmers their individual circumstances and provide advice on river levels and stock movement issues,” said regional hazards team leader Rick Liefting.

Other sources of advice are the Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) and the Federated Farmers support line is 0800 FARMING.

In the east of the region, the council is today providing advice to Thames Valley civil defence which is assessing the needs of several properties isolated after a stopbank overtopped in Matamata-Piako district. 

There is also some overtopping in other eastern areas leading to pastures being saturated in places.

“We are watching these situations closely and will look to provide assistance as we can,” said Mr Liefting.

As highlighted yesterday, there has been extensive surface flooding in various parts of the region and river levels are elevated – to record highs in places. They are starting to fall and there’s good weather forecast for the next few days with no significant rain expected for the next week or so.

But the region is very saturated with some farmers, like those mentioned in Matamata-Piako district, having issues due to surface flooding. In the east of the region a number of monitoring sites for the Waihou and Piako rivers have seen their highest recorded river height levels. Record flows will continue to come through these systems for the next few days.

It’s expected river levels in the lower Waikato River catchment will remain high for at least the next few days, and be elevated generally into next week. Ponding of surface water there will slowly drain off as river levels fall. Land in areas around the lower Waikato River system is likely to remain saturated, and may have surface flooding, for at least a week. But Lake Karapiro discharges will be decreasing over time which will help alleviate high river levels in the lower Waikato.

So people need to be aware of the risks associated with these issues and take care while water levels reduce.

“The council’s local flood response teams in parts of the region have been very active in monitoring the flood protection network and responding to any issues as they arise. We will continue to monitor the network closely,” said Mr Liefting.

People are encouraged to call the council on 0800 800 401 if they have any concerns over stopbank or other flood scheme-related matters.

To sign up for the flood warning service email regional.hazards@waikatoregion.govt.nz

 

 

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