Employers asked to consider letting Waikato workers leave early if they need to travel

13 April 2017, 01:12 PM

1pm Thursday 13 April

Waikato employers are being urged to consider letting workers leave early from work this afternoon to help ensure people can get home before the worst of tonight’s expected heavy rain kicks in.

“This is particularly important for people who need to get home from, say, Hamilton to the likes of eastern parts of the region or Taupo,” said group controller Lee Hazlewood.

“We want people to be off the roads before the rain really starts coming in from early this afternoon. Peak intensities are expected from this evening.

“A bit of extra time to get home safe before the deluge gets really heavy could be a potential lifesaver for some.”

Mr Hazlewood stressed people needed to be extremely careful on the roads today and tonight, and avoid travel where possible.

“It’s essential people make sensible decisions about their welfare and avoid travelling when it’s not safe.”

The latest weather warnings this morning for the Waikato region include:

  • Coromandel Peninsula: 80-120 mm of rain in 12 hours (9am to 9pm today), with 150km/hr wind gusts and 5m waves from this afternoon into the evening.
  • Waikato and Waitomo: 70-90 mm in 12 hours (9am to 9pm today), with 120km/hr gusts from this afternoon into the evening.
  • Taupo: 70-90 mm in 15 hours (9am to midnight today), with 140km/hr gusts from this evening into Friday morning.
  • High tide this evening (2102 for Firth of Thames and 2100 for Whitianga) coincides with a period of high rain intensity. Therefore, extreme care should be taken around low lying areas at this time.
  • The Kauaeranga River flood management spillway across state highway 25 south of Thames could operate at this time, closing that road.

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