Manawatu rivers on overnight flood watch

  • 24/09/2015
Manawatu rivers on overnight flood watch

By 3 News online staff

River levels in Manawatu and Rangitikei will be watched overnight by council staff following heavy rain throughout the day.

Horizons Regional Council says most river levels are starting to recede, but some peaks are yet to make their way down the systems.

The Moutoa floodgates were opened at 11am to relieve pressure on the Manawatu River and will stay open until at least mid-morning tomorrow.

Group manager of operations Allan Cook says the Manawatu, Oroua and Rangitikei Rivers have reached their peaks, but the latter is expected to remain close to its peak for around 10 hours.

"While we don't anticipate any issues, we would like to have staff on the ground at Parewanui on the Rangitikei River and Main Drain at Rangiotu to ensure we keep on top of any developments. We also have contingency plans in place should they be needed," he says.

No significant rainfall is expected in the area over the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Hawke's Bay Regional Council has closed Pākōwhai Regional Park near Hastings in case cattle need to be moved from grazing land along the Ngaruroro River in an emergency.

They're currently safe on stopbanks, but may need to be moved if the river levels rise further.

The council says Tūtira Regional Park is not officially closed, but there is no access to the park and the campground as the lake water level is flooding the causeway.  

Vehicles can enter the main gate and Department of Conservation wildlife reserve parking area, but shouldn't try to drive over the causeway while it is in flood. 

Water levels are expected to be high for about a week.  

Council staff will inspect the regional park when they can get there because the road between Napier and Tutira is currently blocked by slips.

Waitangi and Pekepeka Regional Parks remain open, but those visiting should take extreme caution because of the high water levels.

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