30 Jul 2008

Worst of Coromandel flooding over

3:40 pm on 30 July 2008

The worst of the storm on the Coromandel appears to be over, though many roads remain closed from flooding and slips.

Up to 300 millimetres of rain have fallen in parts of the region in the past 24 hours.

Heavy rain triggered flood warnings on a number of Coromandel and Hauraki Plains rivers, but Waikato Regional Council says river systems coped well.

Though rivers such as the Ohinemuri have peaked, those on the plains will take longer, says emergency management officer Adam Munro.

Mr Munro says widespread surface flooding will continue on low-lying areas for some time.

Slips and flooding have closed roads near Whitianga, Coromandel town, Mania and Hikuai.

State Highway 2 through the Karangahake Gorge between Paeroa and Waihi is still closed and the road linking Paeroa and Te Aroha, State Highway 26, is also closed.

State Highway 1 near Warkworth should be open to traffic again early on Wednesday afternoon.

The road was closed because of three slips in the Dome Valley near Sheepworld.

Transit northern operations manager Joseph Flanagan says State Highway 16, an alternative route north, is open, but is down to a single lane in places.

Transit New Zealand says State Highway 1 near Warkworth has reopened after closing for most of the day because of a big slip in the Dome Valley. It says debris has been cleared but motorists should still take care.