Lake Rerewhakaaitu School is closed today as staff look for alternative routes to get pupils to school following yesterday's floods.

Principal Patricia Purdie said she had been told pillars supporting a bridge near the intersection of Rerewhakaaitu and Ashpit and Yankee Rds, had been undermined.

"Both our buses use that bridge," Purdie said. "And while there is an alternative route, it would have been a nightmare to try and organise bus routes and timetables on the first day back."

A State of Emergency was declared for Ngongotaha after heavy rain caused slips, damage and closed roads around the region.


She said there had not been any damage at the school.

"We're lucky we had someone in over summer fixing all the leaks."

Rain had caused slips and damage to roads in Rerewhakaaitu but Purdie believed most of it, except for the bridge, could be cleaned up within a day or two.

"I did hear of one family having water through their home although I'm sure there would have been many that were close to having that happen.

"The water got quite high and then it was like someone pulled a plug and it disappeared unbelievably quickly."

Purdie said a meeting with the school bus drivers was being held today to work out the new bus routes. "We plan to be open tomorrow."

According to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the Rerewhakaaitu Lake level rose from 436.58m on April 29, to 437m on April 30.

Ngongotaha Primary School and Te Wananga o Aotearoa on Lake Rd were also closed today as a result of the floods.