Flood-stricken Bay residents are in for another soaking as heavy rain and the remnants of another cyclone head our way, forecasters say.
A severe weather warning has been issued by MetService with 200-250mm of rain expected to fall between midday today and midday Friday.
The heavy rain and the remnants of tropical cyclone Cook are a wet weather double-punch on the already beleaguered region, whose woes peaked last Thursday when the Rangitaiki River burst its stopbanks, flooding Edgecumbe.
Bay of Plenty Civil Defence group controller Clinton Naude said Civil Defence had learned from last week's bad weather and were more prepared for today and tomorrow.
"Given the catchments are already saturated we are now able to get the lead in time to warn people."
He encouraged residents to self-evacuate if they felt uncomfortable or noticed the river rising.
"Stay alert and also make sure your getaway kits are ready in case you have to move out of the area," Mr Naude said. If there was an emergency, the fire station alarm would sound continuously alongside emergency service vehicles.
A local state of emergency was declared for the Bay of Plenty yesterday afternoon, superseding the previous state of emergency declared last Thursday.
Heading into Thursday the ex-tropical cyclone will approach, bringing another wet day, once again the Bay seeing the heaviest of the rain.
Niwa climate scientist Nava Sedaess said it "was not looking good at all" for the already soaked region.
Ahead of the tail end of the tropical cyclone system making its way to New Zealand there was a separate low-pressure system bringing heavy rain today.
"The rain isn't from the cyclone, and unfortunately the Bay is expected to see the most persistent rainfall," Ms Sedaess said.
"Heading into Thursday the ex-tropical cyclone will approach, bringing another wet day, once again the Bay seeing the heaviest of the rain."
However, there was a silver lining, she said.
The cyclone system would move south quickly and the weather would clear for the long Easter weekend.
"For the rest of the weekend you will see a mixture of sun and cloud. It will be a little bit cooler, but overall pretty decent compared to what's in store for [today and tomorrow]."
Bay of Plenty councils were preparing for the wet weather and urging residents to do the same.
Duty flood manager Peter Blackwood said the regional council was working with Trustpower to lower the Matahina Dam to the lowest levels ever recorded.
Pumps along the Rangitaiki River were going full speed to remove water from flooded areas and there were ongoing inspections of the stop banks.
Pumps in the lower Kaituna River were also going "flat tack".
The Western Bay of Plenty District Council has urged people to be prepared - by clearing gutters and stormwater grates and having an evacuation plan in place - including for pets.
People should also have a supply of food and water at home and avoid areas where there have been recent slips because the ground would still be unstable.
THE JAZZ MUST GO ON
National Jazz Festival organiser Becks Chambers said the festival would go ahead rain or shine.
The festival would begin tomorrow Cook was expected to hit Tauranga.
Most of the outdoor events were scheduled for later in the weekend - Saturday and Sunday - and Ms Chambers hoped the weather would clear by then.
"It's always a shame if it rains, but we've had wet festivals before and people still turn out.
"That's the beauty of music - we just keep playing and hope everyone has an awesome time, as long as you have ears it's all good."
The stages on The Strand and Tauranga waterfront would keep performers dry and a huge marquee, able to fit up to 800 people, would also keep people dry.