Rain damage affects region

By Amy Shanks

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The Ngaruroro River pictured from Chesterhope Bridge, Pakowhai, on Monday, left, and on Thursday, right.
The Ngaruroro River pictured from Chesterhope Bridge, Pakowhai, on Monday, left, and on Thursday, right.

Heavy rain, which pummelled the region this week, has left its mark on the landscape - causing damage to fences and flooding in low-lying areas.

Water covered a section of Rotary Pathway beneath Chesterhope Bridge off Pakowhai Road, yesterday, while a tarsealed accessway was partly submerged, and remained closed for safety reasons.

Flooding reached the "toe" of a stopbank, but was beginning to recede last night.

However, Hawke's Bay Regional Council incident controller Darren Gorst warned further downpours could see the region's waterways rise quickly.

"The catchment is saturated now, so any run-off would go into the streams and rivers, but it would take a significant dump of rain," he said.

The area near Chesterhope is "particularly flat" and has already flooded up to four times in the past six months - prompting council to carry out several repairs on fences.

A once in 100-year downpour would be needed to harm the bridge itself, Mr Gorst said.

Hawke's Bay's Civil Defence Emergency Management Group are still working closely with the Hawkes' Bay Regional Council, but did not expect any further issues.

"We have not had any serious complaints so far ... it's just a case of keeping an eye on them."

Council has a computer system which monitored rain and water level gauges throughout Hawke's Bay, and will set off an alarm when they became dangerously high.

Operational teams described the inclement weather as an "annual scale" rainfall event.

Police said they faced fewer slips and slightly better conditions on the road's yesterday.

Napier Fire Service only attended one incident of surface flooding on Taradale's Guppy Road.

"We had a blocked drain and surface flooding but we couldn't find the drain, generally we only get called when it's affecting people's property," senior station officer Brian Dunphy said.

It was business as usual at Napier Port as four ships were able to dock following a day and night offshore.

"That was due to high winds and swell on Wednesday, there was a similar situation in Tauranga so they couldn't move on," Port services manager Bruce Lochhead said.

MetService forecaster Melissa Roux said stations at Ngahere and Parks Peak recorded 119.5mm and 105.5mm respectively in a 24-hour period overnight on Wednesday, with another 30mm to 60mm forecast last night.

A severe weather warning issued on Wednesday was expected to lift at 5am today with downpours turning to drizzle this afternoon.

Tomorrow should be drier.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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