Topic: Weather

Ōpōtiki braces for more floods

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Heavy rain has caused major slips and flooding in Northland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.

The Metservice issued a severe weather warning with heavy rain expected to continue tonight. A month worth of rain fell in 24 hours in Ōpōtiki causing the Ōtara River to overflow. Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie of the Ōpōtiki Council said that they were keeping a close eye on the rivers and streams, “the Ōtara river pecked at its record high snice measurements began the town had significate rainfall and resulted in quite a bit of surface flooding.”

The last flood in Ōpōtiki was in 2010, when the wastewater system which was at capacity and flooding became an issue in some areas of the township. Te Kaha resident, Rongo Wikitoria said she saw surface flooding on the roads, “It's not good because the drains are blocked so the play areas are flooded. Portaloos have now been placed around the township but the council will be keeping a close eye on river and wastewater levels.

However, Aileen Lawrie understood the concerns regarding the wastewater, “that's a service that has known problems and we are currently in the process of spending 10 million dollars to upgrade it.” The Met-service says there will be more heavy rain tonight but there's concern for farmers and their properties which are being hit with flooding.