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Watch NZH Local Focus: Whanganui rowing club members amongst locals bracing for floods

By Sieska Verdonk

The Aramoho Wanganui Rowing Club sits on the banks of the Whanganui River.

This afternoon as the river continued to swell into a raging torrent, club members were clearing boats from parts of the building they expect to be inundated.

"We are preparing for the worst, we are hoping that it is not going to come into the club, but it's likely to come into at least the first story. Hopefully not the second story," says Luke Watts, Aramoho Wanganui Rowing Club captain.

A state of emergency has now been declared in Whanganui and many people here are still getting back on their feet after the devastating 2015 floods.

This time, it's expected to be worse, with flooding levels expected to peak at around 2.7m higher than they did two years ago.

"We still haven't recovered from the last flood which was nearly two years ago now and financially it hit us quite hard cause we have only just got the insurance money to pay off the last flood which is not a great place to be in, says Mr Watts.

Like many people around the region, club president Bruce Osborne doing the maths.

"The shed houses over $650,000 worth of rowing plant so every precaution has to be taken. Seven boats badly damaged last time, but we managed to get the plant out last time as well," says Mr Osborne.

Mayor Hamish McDouall says some residents in low-lying areas will be evacuated tomorrow.

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