Horizons preparing for weather across the region

Horizons Regional Council emergency management staff will continue to monitor river levels today and prepare for response with rain forecasted for most of the region.

Horizons controller Craig Grant says Metservice’s rainfall forecast has reduced slightly and predicted river level models have dropped.
“At this stage we are still anticipating a floodgate opening for Moutoa on the Manawatū River between Shannon and Foxton around midnight tonight. Farmers who lease the Moutoa spillway have been contacted and gate crews are on standby.
“Operation of the Makino Stream floodgates near Feilding is looking less likely now. However, we will be watching this closely this afternoon when the rain is forecasted to arrive as localised rainfall can impact the stream quickly.
“While it is looking like the Manawatū catchment will be impacted the most from the anticipated rain, we will continue to monitor all other river systems as well. We are conscious that soils are saturated and our rivers, stream and drains are already pretty full so we will be ready to respond if needed.”
Mr Grant says Horizons river management staff have been checking on flood protection assets over the last 24 hours.
“Overall everything is ready to operate, however we have identified an issue with one of our drain gates in the Ōpiki basin area. When lower Tokomaru River levels reach a certain height, this gate closes to stop river flows backing up the Ōkuku drain.
“The gate is not closing as it should so our staff are currently working on a temporary fix to get us through this event and a proper repair will take place once water levels drop. Landowners in the area are being contacted to give them a heads up of the potential of the drain backing up and overspilling if the temporary fix doesn’t work.
“We have also checked in on Main Drain which had some backing up issues during the event last month. We are not anticipating any issues with this drain for this event.”
Mr Grant says he’s been in touch with the region’s city and district councils this morning who have reported no issues overnight.
“Like us they are preparing for whatever weather eventuates this afternoon. At this stage there is still a number of watches and warnings in place for the region.
“This includes a wind watch for the Horowhenua and Tararua districts, a heavy rainfall warning for central high country and Tararua range, a heavy rain watch for the Tararua District and a swell warning for both coasts. We recommend everyone take care when driving and be aware of debris flying around and trees falling down.
“If you have any concerns about your property please get in contact with your local city or district council in the first instance, for river flooding you can call Horizons on 0508 800 800.”
Up-to-date information on river heights and rainfall is available via Horizons 24-hour toll-free Waterline 0508 4 FLOOD.
Updates will also be posted to the Manawatū-Whanganui Civil Defence page. For weather forecasting information please see Metservice. For road closures, delays, and warnings please see NZTA.