Makino keeps Horizons busy overnight

Horizons Regional Council emergency management and river management staff kept a close eye on the Makino Stream overnight.  

Horizons incident controller Ramon Strong says an already saturated catchment saw the Makino Stream peak at 1.58m at 5.40pm and again at 1.66m at 3am this morning.

“Our staff monitored the situation throughout the night. At around 7pm, with the incoming weather from the Tasman Sea, a gate operation was contemplated,” he says.

“We then opted for a precautionary approach and manually rang those on the floodway list to give them a heads up. Although gate operation didn’t eventuate, everyone we spoke to was very appreciative of the early warning.”

Mr Strong says a new infrared CCTV camera installed at the Makino floodgates was extremely helpful in determining how the situation was progressing.

“In addition to the river height and rainfall data that we were receiving, it was great to see how the stream was behaving in real time. This camera was recently installed to allow us to make quicker decisions and mitigate potential delays such as mobilising staff in the middle of the night or impassable roads.

“We’re really pleased with the first test last night and are in the process of installing another camera at a key location within Feilding. This camera will show us how the stream is responding to the gates being open or shut and further aid quick decision making for gate operation.”

Mr Strong says Horizons will continue to monitor river heights across the Region over the weekend as more rain is forecast.

“The amount of rain we’re expecting isn’t significant, but on catchments such as the Makino that are already saturated, water levels can rise quickly. So with that in mind we’ll keep a close eye on things and provide further updates if necessary.” 

The CCTV camera footage will be made available to view on Horizons’ website in the near future. Up-to-date river heights and rainfall information is already available here.

When the Makino floodgates are closed, flow from the Makino Stream is diverted across farmland and into the Kiwitea Stream, bypassing Feilding.