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Heavy Rain & thunderstorms batter the Waikato region

Praneeta Mahajan

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, 23 November 2022

Hamilton fights rains overnight (Photo Supplied)

A heavy spell of rain and thunderstorms battered the Waikato region last night, with many roads and pathways across Hamilton Kirikiriroa underwater.

In the most intense period of the storm, parts of the city experienced up to 42mm of rain within the space of an hour.

Throughout the evening, about 200 jobs were logged from customers notifying Hamilton City Council’s Customer Service team via the Antenno App, phone calls and through social media.

With Council’s Infrastructure Alliance and City Delivery teams at the ready, emergency calls were quickly responded to, alleviating flooded areas of concern by early Wednesday morning.

Council crews continue to clean up any damage across the city, including parks, paths and roads. Some areas remain closed due to surface flooding, these include low-lying areas by the river and Hamilton Lake.

River levels are higher than normal. For more about Waikato River level management visit Waikato Regional Council.

Sean Murray, Deputy Chief Executive, said teams are also preparing for more adverse weather ahead, with Met Service expecting heavy rainfall to continue in the coming days.

“Thank you to our Council staff who worked tirelessly throughout the evening in really trying conditions. When rain buckets down along with wind and thunder, it’s not just emergency services like the Police and Fire crew here to help the community,” said Murray.

He said “With our climate changing, we are expecting to see normally unique weather events like last night’s become more common. We are looking into how we can improve the efficiency and reliance of our city’s wastewater and stormwater networks into our planning, so we’re prepared for increased rainfall.

“Last night’s event also highlights some of the dangers and risks involved that the public should avoid. We ask people not to swim or wade in flood waters or attempt to drive through. The best place to be is safe, warm and dry inside.”

To keep safe:

  • Be aware of flash flooding on roads, paths, and properties.
  • If you’re out and about on our roads, please drive to the conditions.
  • Wait until morning to put your bins out, and bring your empty bins in from the kerb as soon as you can.
  • Secure all loose items in your yard, such as furniture, toys, trampolines, and umbrellas.

The NZTA also issued caution message on their social media advising motorists to take extra care as weather related issues following poor weather overnight were causing a few issues across Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink correspondent based in Hamilton.

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