Low-lying land impacted alongside Pohangina River

Further rainfall from Cyclone Gabrielle has led to significantly high flows in rivers throughout the Horizons Region, with low-lying land in Pohangina impacted.

Horizons Regional Council incident controller Craig Grant says sections of rural land and bridges in and around Pohangina are covered with water as a result of the significant rainfall.

“The extent of the overspill is a bit more than we expected this morning but is not unusual with river flows as high as we are experiencing. It is also not unusual for water to be seen outside of the main river channel during significant weather events.

“The upper Pohangina River has peaked and is receding, while the lower section of the river is due to peak soon. The bulk of the forecasted rain has fallen and is making its way down all catchments. 

“The Rangitīkei River is still modelled to peak at about 8 metres at Mangaweka, with floodwater coming down the river to peak at 6 metres at Bulls at 3.30pm and about 7pm at Tangimoana.

“While we are not anticipating any stopbank breach at Tangimoana, Manawatū District Council has advised residents there to be prepared to evacuate just in case.

“We also reached out to key community contacts in Pohangina and Rangitīkei last night to inform rural property owners of the need to move stock from low-lying land alongside the rivers.”

Tararua has also been impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, with the Ākitio, Wainui and Owahanga rivers set to record some of the largest heights on record, says MrGrant.

“A state of emergency was declared in Tararua on Tuesday morning, while an emergency mobile alert was issued at 11.10am for eastern Tararua directing those in the impacted area to evacuate.

“Serious flooding is expected from the Ākitio, Wainui and Owahanga rivers, which are forecast to keep rising. People should take care on roads and watch out for flooding.”

Mr Grant says the height of the Ōroua River has, like the Pohangina River, resulted in some low-lying land being covered in water.

“The Ōroua River is likely to peak at 4.7 metres this afternoon at Almadale (near Cheltenham) this afternoon, with staff onsite at the gap in the stopbanks near TeArakura Road downstream of Feilding.

“Models for the Manawatū River have been updated, with the risk to property near Te Matai Rd, where Horizons was doing work to protect the stopbank from erosion,  lower than forecast yesterday.

“We continue to work with Palmerston North City Council to keep residents in the area informed, but at this stage they are unlikely to be impacted by any flooding. 

“Makino floodgates are not required to operate at this stage, but an operation of the Moutoa floodgates (between Foxton and Shannon) is still planned for Tuesday evening.

“Horizons is keeping in close contact with its city and district councils and will remain so through the day.”

Up-to-date information on river heights and rainfall is available via Horizons 24-hour toll-free Waterline 0508 4 FLOOD or via our website www.horizons.govt.nz.

Updates will also be posted to the Manawatū-Whanganui Civil Defence page: https://www.facebook.com/civildefencemanawatuwhanganui/

For weather forecasting information please see www.metservice.co.nz. For road closures, delays, and warnings please see https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/manawatu-whanganui/

For sandbag queries please contact your local city or district council and stay tuned to your local radio stations for another option for civil defence updates.