STORM EVENT #6 - Melting snow causes river levels to rise in Turakina

Modelling by Horizons Regional Council’s hydrology team this afternoon shows that melting snow has resulted in the Turakina River rising at a level that may cause concern for residents later this evening.

Horizons catchment data manager Jeff Watson says models currently indicate a peak of 8.5 metres in the Turakina River at O’Neill’s Bridge at approximately 9pm tonight.

“Our trigger warning is at 7.0 metres, however it should be noted that the predicted levels are still 2.0 metres below what they were in the June 2015 event,” says Mr Watson.

“It should also be noted that due to the storm event, our Rangitikei River flooding warning system at Mangaweka is currently inoperative.

“Staff are working on fixing this now, with the aim to get it up and running again today. However, this does mean that currently no flooding warnings will be issued if required. This is of lesser concern than the Turakina, as we are not expecting high peaks in this river.”

“There is no emergency declaration in place,” says Rangitikei District Council emergency management officer Johan Cullis.

“However all farmers in the Koitiata area should be moving stock and residents who choose to self-evacuate should do so before dark,” says Mr Cullis.

“Rangitikei received significant snow fall over the past few days, which has already resulted in power outages and road closures in some areas. With the river levels rising, we ask people to be extra vigilant about their own safety and others.”

Mr Watson says there will continue to be a great deal of water around. Waterways are likely to contain debris and take a number of days to return to normal.

“Horizons duty teams will be in place over the weekend.”

Further information will be shared via the Rangitikei District Council Facebook page:

Members of the public are advised to check the status of roads before they start their journey, as some are closed. People can call 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or visit or

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

For weather forecasting information please see

Financial Support
Those affected by the storm through road closures, power outages, or other weather related issues, are asked to make contact with Work and Income to test their eligibility for financial assistance. Work and Income may be able to help with costs for those who don’t have any other way of paying, even if they are not on a benefit. Information (including eligibility criteria) can be found on their or via a phone call 0800 559 009. 

Animal welfare (in cold or snowy conditions)
  • If you haven’t already, move animals to sheltered areas. Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds.
  • Have a water supply available. Most animal deaths in winter storms are from dehydration.
  • Make sure your livestock are secure if there is no power.