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Hamilton prepares for rising water levels

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/04/2017

Sandbags have been stacked in readiness in low-lying areas of Hamilton as river levels rise rapidly from the rain that has drenched large parts of New Zealand.

Hamilton City Council says some properties could have flooding over the next 24 hours while the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Debbie continue to be felt.

It says river levels on Wednesday night are 2m above what they were at the same time on Tuesday and are getting higher.

Council incident management team controller says Blair Bowcott says the city had a month's rain in 24 hours but had so far come through it well.

"But we are still dealing with hundreds of incidents," he said, citing surface flooding, subsidence and wastewater overflows caused by the sheer volume of water.

Further north, a soggy Auckland is cleaning up with the storm having largely passed.

Several road closures remain in place and about a dozen people out west in Titirangi are isolated down a no-exit road after a landslip cut access to Landing Road.

In the eastern suburbs, some residents in a set of flats hit by a landslide on Kohimarama Road have been allowed to return.

In Whanganui district, where a state of emergency has been declared in preparation of possible heavy flooding, people were evacuated from the low-lying areas of Anzac Parade and Putiki on Wednesday afternoon.

However, estimates of how high the Whanganui River will reach have been lowered from 17.7 metres to a 12.6m peak at 2am on Thursday.

This is likely to result in an eight-metre peak at Whanganui City Bridge at 8.15am.

In neighbouring Rangitikei, which also declared a state of emergency on Tuesday night, the predicted river levels for Thursday have also been revised.

The council said it was not expecting any further issues overnight.

The widespread rain closed highways and local roads across the country on Wednesday. They included State Highway 1 between Taupo and Turangi, but the cause, a slip at Bulli Point, has been cleared.

The wet weather is expected to continue into early Thursday over many parts of the North Island and the upper South Island.

The deep low is then forecast to move away on Friday and be replaced by a ridge of high pressure that will dominate until Monday.

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