Potential flood barrier deployment for Whanganui

Horizons Regional Council emergency management staff are currently monitoring Whanganui River levels with predictions signalling flood barrier deployment for Kowhai Park, Whanganui later today.

Horizons group manager river management Ramon Strong says rain in the upper Whanganui catchment overnight has seen river levels rise.

“At this stage it is predicted to exceed 11 metres at Pipiriki at 8.45am and continue to rise. Once we get to this level we will confirm the need to install the Kowhai Park flood protection barriers in line with our flood management plan.

“We are expecting the Whanganui River to peak at 7.9m at Town Bridge at 5pm and expect flood protection within the city reaches to contain this flow.

“If required the flood barriers will be in place later this afternoon.”

Mr Strong says a small fresh was also experienced on the Manawatū and Rangitikei Rivers.

“This may cause some delays to the works underway at Ashhurst Domain but we do not expect it to cause any significant damage to the site. The erosion works behind Victoria Esplanade have been secured and the contractors working on the He Ara Kotahi Bridge have implemented their flood contingency plan.

“The Manawatū River is expected to peak at 4.2 metres at Teachers’ College this evening and may result in a road closure at Opiki, SH56 this evening. At this stage there is no further significant rainfall forecasted so we don’t expect any other issues.”

Members of the public are advised to take care while driving and check the AA’s website, http://maps.aa.co.nz/traffic/roadwatch for information on road conditions.

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 Manawatu-Wanganui Civil Defence page: https://www.facebook.com/civildefencemanawatuwanganui/

For weather forecasting information please see www.metservice.co.nz