Flooding and slips have closed roads in the Bay of Plenty as heavy rain continues to batter the region.
The downpours are expected until early tomorrow, with up to 200mm predicted in the ranges and 100mm in low-lying areas.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council duty flood manager Roger Waugh said although the intensity of rain appeared to have slowed, more heavy rain was expected – particularly in the eastern ranges. The heaviest falls are expected after midnight.
Flooding between Whakatane and Opotiki forced the closure of State Highway 2 and Wainui Rd this afternoon, while a number of rural roads in the region were closed by flooding and slips.
A washout on SH35 east of the Motu Bridge, near Opotiki, has reduced traffic to one lane.
The Waioeka, Waimana, Whakat?ne and Mangorewa (Kaituna catchment Waioeka and Mangorewa rivers reached first warning levels today, while a second warning level has been issued for the Otara River. This means a risk of floodwaters over rural, low-level stopbanks.