Tidal flooding possible tonight around Firth of Thames


5 June 2012, 04:00 PM

Waikato Civil Defence is warning residents of coastal communities on the Firth of Thames to prepare for tidal flooding similar to that experienced in January last year.

Group emergency management officer Greg Ryan said the combination of a king tide, a weather system bringing strong north easterly winds and a storm surge will result in abnormally high tides over the next day.

"It is possible we will see tides similar to January last year, when low-lying coastal properties and roads on the western Firth of Thames were affected.

"If you live in low-lying areas on the coast and experienced flooding on your property in January last year, do what you can to minimise the risk of similar damage occurring again," Mr Ryan said.

If the flooding occurs, it will be around the time of high tide at 8pm tonight. As well as causing flooding, these conditions might result in coastline erosion.

Thames Valley emergency operating area manager Gary Talbot warned that floodwaters often carry debris, making it dangerous to enter in a car or on foot.

"If you are travelling along low-lying coastal roads be aware of the possibility for floodwaters, which may be deep or make road surfaces slick. Debris may also be present after waters have receded.

"If you don't need to be on these coastal roads tonight, then we'd urge people to stay home," Mr Talbot said.

Civil defence will be closely monitoring the situation and people are encouraged to listen to their radio for the latest warnings and information.

If you require immediate assistance, please contact emergency services via 111.

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.