17 Dec 2014

Farmers fear fourth flood in year

2:44 pm on 17 December 2014

[b Farmers in the Hikurangi swamp north of Whangarei are living on their nerves as water levels rise steadily after a week of rain and they face the prospect of being flooded for the fourth time in a year.

Hikurangi Swamp is one of the hardest hit areas in Northland.

Hikurangi Swamp was one of the hardest hit areas in Northland earlier this year. Photo: SUPPLIED

Sharon Smith, who farms with her husband Ben at the southern end of the flood plain, said the rain was great for the first few days after a long dry spell.

But the water was now only about a metre from the top of the flood control stopbanks, she said, and the Puhipuhi Hills have had almost 150 millimetres of rain in the past day.

Mrs Smith says as that flows down it could push the water over the top - yet again - and with heavy rain predicted for the weekend, it is proving a very stressful lead-up to Christmas for farmers.

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