River levels to be monitored overnight

Horizons Regional Council river management staff will be keeping a close eye on river levels across the region overnight, with Manawatū River level predictions signalling a possible Moutoa floodgate operation in the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

Horizons group manager river management Ramon Strong says rain in the Tararua and Manawatū catchments has seen river levels rise.

“At this stage it is predicted to peak between 5.2 and 5.5m at old Teachers’ College recorder site tomorrow morning. Experience from previous events tells us this is likely to translate into requiring a gate operation at Moutoa at approximately 2am tomorrow morning and a closure of Opiki, SH56 around 9pm this evening.

“We have notified landowners in the spillway of the potential closure and will have gate operation crews on site tonight.”

Mr Strong says his staff will also be keeping a close eye on the Rangitikei, Pohangina and Oroua rivers.

“The Rangitikei is currently at 7.1m at Mangaweka, and may rise another half a metre, making it one of the largest events since 2004. As a precautionary measure we have a crew on standby to deploy the Tangimoana floodgates as well.

 “The Pohangina is getting near its expected peak of 3.9m but may result in road closures. Our emergency management staff have been in touch with the school, camping ground and Highland Home to advise of this.
“The Oroua is currently at 6m at Kopane Bridge and may result in the Kopane spillway operating. If this happens landowners will be notified via the automated call out system.”

In the eastern part of the region the Owahanga and Waihi rivers are high and may result in some road closures. At this stage there are no areas of concern for the Mangaone and Makino streams.

“There are also no concerns for the Whanganui River which is currently only at 6m at Pipiriki. However we will keep an eye on all river systems overnight and ensure we are prepared to respond as necessary,” says Mr Strong.  

Members of the public are advised to take care while driving and check the AA’s website 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.

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