Whanganui District Council and Horizons Regional Council staff are on standby ahead of predicted bad weather this weekend.

WDC's emergency manager Matthew Smith said staff would be closely monitoring the level of the Whanganui River with heavy rain predicted in the region.

Mr Smith said as of Friday afternoon predictions were below warning levels.

He said the Whanganui River at Pipiriki is currently forecast to peak at a level of 7.1m at 6.30am on Sunday. It takes water around 12 hours to travel from Pipiriki to the Whanganui urban area.


"At 8m initial planning is undertaken for rising river levels," Mr Smith said.

The Whangaehu River at Kauangaroa is expected to peak at a level of 6.5m at 8am on Sunday.

Strong winds are also likely to be a problem over the weekend, Mr Smith said. MetService has forecast winds of up to 140km/h for Whanganui for Saturday morning.

"Residents are advised to secure loose objects and take care as the waterlogged ground may make trees unstable. Drive to the conditions if you are travelling."

Mr Smith said the Whanganui Emergency Operations Centre has been set up to monitor the situation.

"If river level actions remain as predicted there will be no full activation of the emergency operations centre. Emergency management staff will be at work through the weekend and will be monitoring river levels closely overnight Saturday through Sunday, and other staff are on standby if required."

During the weekend, up-to-date weather information for Whanganui can be found at www.metservice.com/towns-cities/whanganui.