The main street of Marton, sandbagged in preparation for the worst.

Mayor of Rangitikei, Andy Watson is getting regular updates from forecasters on the weather system which is threatening his region.

"Latest data shows that there is a relatively low chance of flooding in the main street of Marton, but that there is a significant risk of flooding in the Whangaehu and Turakina catchments," says Mr Watson.

He's urging farmers to move stock to higher ground if they haven't already done so.


"I'm waiting until probably 4pm this afternoon to get the latest update, but it looks as though we at the moment could be facing a what we would call a 2015 type flood event,"
says Mr Watson.

While the Whangaehu and Turakina rivers are yet to burst their banks, council staff are prepared for every eventuality.

"We will make the decision on whether we are door knocking and evacuating people late this afternoon. We would ask if they do, that they follow the instructions please and don't return to their homes until they are given clearance," says Mr Watson.

While only one road in Marton is underwater, flood waters are right on the doorstep of Huntly School.

Sieska Verdonk - Local Focus