Kowhai Park flood barrier removal update

Published on June 14, 2022

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Horizons Regional Council media release

Horizons Regional Council emergency management opened the Moutoa floodgates at 10.30pm last night to relieve pressure on the lower reaches of the Manawatū River.

Horizons emergency management controller Ged Shirley says the gates are expected to stay open until at least midday on Wednesday with river levels in the catchment having a sustained peak.

“The Manawatū at Teachers’ College monitoring site in Palmerston North is just starting to peak now at 4.7m. It takes approximately 9 hours for that peak to reach Moutoa so they need to stay open until then with gate crews on rotation.”

Mr Shirley says most rivers are starting to recede across the region and plans for today include further monitoring and assessment.

“Most of our rivers have peaked and all rivers have been contained in their channels overnight. Our river management staff will be out inspecting Horizons’ flood protection assets once it’s daylight to determine if there are any repairs or maintenance required.

“Metservice have forecasted low intensity rain over the next 24 hours for most of the region, with some concentrated patches in the Tararua Ranges and lower Whanganui catchment. There is also a strong wind watch in place for the entire region, and a strong wind warning for the Tararua district.

“At this stage we are not anticipating any issues as a result of this rain, however our rivers are full and will respond relatively quickly to additional rain so we will continue to monitor today and tonight.”

Mr Shirley says a decision on the flood barriers in place at Foxton Beach and Kowhai Park in Whanganui will be made later today.

“The storm surge impact didn’t end up being much in both of these locations as the wind dropped during the night. However, we will wait until high tide passes before making the call to remove them.

“The Makino floodgates will cease operation this morning once river management staff have checked for debris, so Pharazyn Road near Feilding will be open again.” 

Mr Shirley says as daylight arrives people can expect to see a fair amount of water around.

“In addition to full rivers and streams, there is likely to be surface flooding in places. Saturated soils combined with wind also means we may see landslips, erosion, fallen trees and debris.

“We encourage people to contact their city or district council if they have any concerns about trees or surface flooding on their properties and us if there are any river or erosion concerns.”

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 Manawatū-Whanganui Civil Defence Facebook page.

For weather forecasting information please visit the MetService website


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