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Photos: Rotorua roads ’turning into lakes’

Flooding outside Lynmore Primary School. Video: Trisha Diprose.

Click the image above to watch the video

Rotorua is receiving a battering today, with surface flooding, slips, and trees blocking lanes.

In response to the weather, an emergency shelter has been opened at the Energy Events Centre.

Rotorua Lakes Council’s Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and Civil Defence teams have been mobilised.

With more than 100mm of rain in the past 24 hours, and more expected, a severe rain warning and a severe thunderstorm watch in place for Rotorua and Rotorua Lakes Council has opened up an emergency welfare centre at the Energy Events Centre.

Crews from Infracore, Fulton Hogan, Higgins and Fire and Emergency New Zealand have attended more than 60 flooding issues and are prioritising where there is a danger to people and their properties. 

The amount of rain that has come down has overwhelmed the sewerage system and some pump stations and the wastewater treatment plant is unable to cope with the volume of water trying to enter.

This has caused overflowing and diluted sewage to overflow the system, which means there is contaminated wastewater entering the stream and lake.

As a precaution any surface water should be treated as contaminated, and Toi Te Ora Public Health and Bay of Plenty Regional Council have been notified.

A caller to the 0800 SunLive news hotline says Rotokawa Rd is sevrely flooded.

"Rotokawa Rd is flowing nicely into Rotorua Airport this morning when we went past. Just as it was, flowing into the Rotorua Airport grounds," says Alister Hooper.

"The fire brigade was there pumping out water from the grounds.

"There have been heavy downpours on the way home from Taupo, lots of surface flooding along main highways and in and around Rotorua. Some parts of Rotorua city have turned into lakes apparently."

MetService is predicting a total rainfall for today of 125mm, but it looks as though that will be surpassed by the end of the day.

Several roads have had to be closed due to flooding and crews are busy attending numerous callouts to flooding, slips and treefalls.

Tarawera Road near Buried Village is closed where flooding has caused damage to the road surface. Fire service crew and contractors on site.

Robinson Ave, Ford Rd and one end of York St closed due to severe flooding.

Ash Pit and Republican roads, Rerewhakaaitu, are flooded and impassable.

Paradise Valley Rd down to one lane due to slip near Relph Road with a second slip just reported, and part of the road has collapsed on Mountain Rd.

A culvert has collapsed on Rerewhakaaitu Rd, and a slip and treefall have blocked both lanes on Dansey Rd.

Rotorua Lakes Council is advising people to stay off the roads.

Stormwater lids popping up in some places sostay away from any surface flooding.

If you absolutely have to be out driving be very careful, drive slowly through any surface flooding, be aware of the potential for stormwater lids to pop up and be aware that there may be slips and/or trees down across roads.

If you spot any issues, Rotorua Lakes Council would like you to report them straight away by calling 07 348 4199.

Rotokawa Rd. Photos: Alister Hooper.

Fairy Springs Rd. Photo: Cathryn Radley/Facebook.

Photo: Mwl Lihou/Facebook.

Flooding at properties on Sunset Rd. Photos: Deborah Cummins/Facebook.

Flooding of Lake Rotorua. Photo: Trisha Diprose.

Flooding at Lynmore Primary. Photo: Trisha Diprose.

Photo: Trisha Diprose.

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