Bay of Plenty Regional Council has set 71.6m as a target for the lake’s level, to be achieved by 8.00am on Wednesday 12 April, 2017. This is the minimum allowable level in accordance with the dam’s resource consent and flood management plan. This target was achieved ahead of the weather brought by Ex-Cyclone Debbie and will be achieved ahead of Cyclone Cook’s arrival.
Trustpower is currently lowering the lake by spilling water through controlled releases from the dam in order to meet this target. Trustpower will continue co-operating with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council flood management team leading up to and throughout the next weather event.
Vince Hawksworth, Trustpower’s Chief Executive, highlights that this collaboration with Bay of Plenty Regional Council regarding lake level management is normal in advance of any forecast major weather event.
“Our team works closely, and well in advance, with regional council authorities to ascertain the safe water levels for our schemes to operate at, across the country.
“We are on track to meet the target of 71.6m for the lake level at the Matahina Dam by tomorrow morning, well in advance of predicted inflows. Through consultation with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s flood management team and as more information about the forecast weather event emerges, we are willing to cooperate with the Regional Council regarding any further targets for the lake level,” says Mr Hawksworth.
Inspections of the Matahina Dam are also continuing twice a day by Trustpower staff. A dam safety performance inspection, conducted by external advisors who visited the site on Monday 10 April, confirm that the structure is working as it should.
There are also contractors in place focusing on removing logs and debris contained by a purpose-built log boom, designed to trap logs ahead of flowing downstream and blocking spillway gates. The log boom installed this past summer, has held back between 500-1,000 tonnes of logs during this last flood event, and is an important feature for dam safety purposes.
In response to the announcement of the independent review of the Edgecumbe Flood Event
Trustpower supports the announcement made by Doug Leeder, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair, that there will be an independent review of the infrastructure and circumstances that led to the breach of a flood wall and associated flooding through the town of Edgecumbe on 6 April 2017.
“Trustpower will participate in this review in any way that the authorities deem necessary. We understand that the communities of the Rangitāiki River have questions that need answers, and we hope that this review provides these,” says Vince Hawksworth, Trustpower’s Chief Executive.
Trustpower owns and operates the Matahina Dam which is located on the Rangitāiki River. A stop bank was breached within the town of Edgecumbe on the morning of Thursday 6 April 2017, following torrential rain from Ex-Cyclone Debbie. This stop bank breach saw the town’s residents evacuated.
Ex-Cyclone Debbie was a significant weather event and rainfall levels were very high. On the Rangitāiki River, sites logged between 200-300mm in 48 hours.
For further information and updates
• Trustpower: www.trustpower.co.nz/matahina
• Whakatāne District Council Facebook: www.facebook.com/whakatanedistrictcouncil
• Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Civil Defence Facebook: www.facebook.com/bopcivildefence
• Bay of Plenty Regional Council Facebook: www.facebook.com/boprc
• Listen to IXX FM: 90.5FM
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