A section of State Highway 2 in the Bay of Plenty remains closed as the clean up of thick mud and debris continues.
Several days of persistent rain in the Eastern Bay of Plenty caused flooding and triggered slips, including one that damaged a retired couple’s home on the outskirts of Tāneatua.
The Waimana Gorge, between Tāneatua and Kutarere, has been closed since Tuesday with a further slip yesterday slowing progress clearing three earlier slips, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency said.
Geotechnical engineers assessed the slips yesterday giving teams the go-ahead to start using loaders to clear the thick mud and debris off the road.
Wainui Rd is still open as a detour.
Waka Kotahi warned the ground was completely saturated and there were further risks of slips.
Due to a dropout just west of Matahi Rd, at Rotoma, stop/go traffic management is in place.
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council said the heavy rain this week had caused ponding in low-lying areas on floodplains and the ground was very saturated, so rivers and streams continued to be at elevated levels.
Lower Kaituna and Whakatāne Rivers were slowly receding to their normal river channel and other Eastern Bay of Plenty rivers that experienced a minor increase were also receding, the council said.
Spilling at the Matahina Dam was due to stop.
Rain amounts and forecast
MetService meteorologist Josh Law said 159mm of rain had been recorded in Whakatāne during the first three days of May, with the highest daily amount recorded at 86.4mm on May 2.
Law said the normal amount for the entire month of May was around 140mm.
The Whakatāne River reached its highest level on Wednesday since 2019, according to the regional council, as 230mm of rain fell across the entire catchment.
MetService has lifted all weather warnings and watches for the Bay of Plenty but occasional rain was forecast for the region today.
— WeatherWatch.co.nz (@WeatherWatchNZ) May 4, 2023
Law said the weather in the Bay of Plenty was looking drier in the next few days.
“For the Bay we are still going to be keeping hold of these northerly winds, cloud and a few showers over the next few days. The weather is looking much drier than we have seen lately with the heavy rain look set to impact areas to the west of the country – Nelson, Taranaki, Northland for example.
“However, it’s worth keeping an eye on the forecast for the start of next week as rain moves back in from the west for Monday and Tuesday.”
SH2 WAIMANA GORGE – UPDATE 6.30AM, THU 04 MAY#SH2 remains closed through the Waimana Gorge, between Station Rd, Taneatua and Wainui Rd, Kuturere, and is expected to remain closed for some time further today. Delay your journey or allow extra time for detour via Whakatane. ^TP pic.twitter.com/g7G6XBBEY2
— Waka Kotahi NZTA Waikato/BoP (@WakaKotahiWaiBP) May 3, 2023
Leave a Reply