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Evacuations as Waikato river overflows

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/04/2017

Water is expected to remain for several days in an area families were evacuated from when a Waikato river breached its stopbank.

Police say a small number of homes near Patetonga were evacuated after the Piako River flooded on Sunday morning.

One family was helped out by fire crews, a Fire Service spokeswoman said.

Waikato Regional Council says more water entered ponding zones than in recorded history.

Stopbank "overtopping" is occurring due to the exceptionally swollen state of the Piako and Waitoa rivers in eastern Waikato after high rainfall.

Hauraki District Council civil defence confirms two houses on Tramline Rd near the Piako River self-evacuated due to surface flooding.

The actual houses aren't affected at this stage but the families left as a precaution.

Overtopping of stopbanks and the spilling of water to ponding areas is part of flood management in the area.

"We can expect to see elevated water levels within the ponding areas for at least the next few days," says Rick Liefting, Waikato Regional Council's hazards team leader.

"It's also possible further overtopping will occur into more designated ponding areas around Kaihere Road as the peak water levels work their way through the system over the next few days."

Water levels are receding in upstream areas.

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