29 Apr 2018

Rotorua flooding: What you need to know

11:50 pm on 29 April 2018

Torrential rain has caused flooding in Rotorua with a state of emergency declared in Ngongotaha and evacuations.

The rainfall has overwhelmed the sewerage system, and the council is warning that all surface water should be treated as contaminated.

NIWA tweeted that Rotorua had its wettest hour on record with 51.8mm of rain falling between 10-11am, with a total of 167.8mm of rain falling between 4am on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday.

Most surface flooding in the city has now receded, but more rain is forecast up until midnight.

What you need to know:

  • Twelve customers and around 20 staff had to be evacuated from the Agrodome in Rotorua, although earlier fire and emergency had said 200 people were stuck there. Another 50 had been evacuated from their homes.
  • A state of emergency has been declared in Ngongotaha and people have been evacuated from their homes since 3.30pm.
  • An emergency welfare centre has been opened at the Energy Events Centre in Rotorua.
  • All flood waters should be treated as contaminated after rainfall overwhelmed the sewerage system.
  • Heavy surface flooding is affecting roads and residents are being urged not to drive unless absolutely necessary. There are multiple road closures and diversions in place.
  • Residents who believe their house is in danger of flooding should leave their home. They can call the council on 07 348 4199 if they need help or feel unable to do this themselves.
  • NIWA said a total of 167.8mm of rain fell in Rotorua between 4am on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday.
  • Residents who get their drinking water from bores or intakes from rivers or streams are being advised to boil their water or used bottle water.
  • Evacuees who want to return home are being advised to check that waste water, which may be contaminated hasn't risen from toilets and sinks.