Heavy rain warning in place on the Coromandel 24 December 2018 A heavy rain warning has been issued for the Coromandel Peninsula and our Civil Defence team is urging motorists to travel with care and expect delays tonight. Metservice forecast - 7pm Monday, December 24, 2018 What the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has called a 'tropical firehose' of moisture is forecast to move east across the upper North Island tonight, through to Christmas Day. Thunderstorms are also possible. Our Civil Defence team warns that higher than normal river levels, coupled with this week’s king tides, could isolate the Coromandel from later this evening, and affect local camping grounds. Holiday makers are advised to take extreme care if travelling this afternoon and evening and to keep up-to-date with information on the weather and roads around the district. “We have up to 100mm of rain on the way and with a king tide at 9pm tonight, the possibility of road closures at Hikuai and Thames are more than likely,” says our Civil Defence Controller Garry Towler. If this happens, then it's likely to occur a few hours either side of high tide, so potentially between 7:30pm and 11.30pm today. As a precaution, the motor home park at Rhodes Park in Thames will be closed overnight and a number of camp grounds are being contacted to prepare for possible flooding. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous, so take extreme care when driving, Garry says. There is already a slip on Port Jackson Rd, just south of Fantail Bay on the north-western side of the Coromandel. Motorists are encouraged to be off the roads as early as possible this evening, or to delay their travel until tomorrow. Civil Defence is monitoring the situation and will provide regular updates, but advises that delays to travel are likely tonight. Check the NZ Transport Agency website for road closures and conditions. The king tides over summer are: • December 24 - 28, 2018• January 22 - 26, 2019• February 20 - 24, 2019• March 21 - 25, 2019 NIWA red alert tide calendars are available from their website here. On a more positive note, the weather is forecast to improve after Christmas Day and is looking much better later in the week. Here's how to stay informed Weather updates: MetService. State Highways (SH25, SH25A, SH26 in the Coromandel) - NZTA. You can also call NZTA on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) for traffic and travel information. You can also use their journey-planning website www.onthemove.govt.nz to plan the best route for your journey, taking into account known issues and traffic on state highways. Council roads - We will post regular updates on our Council's Facebook page as well as on our website and email newsletters. If you see an issue that needs attention, call us on 07 868 0200. Local radio - Check stations and frequencies here. Red Cross Hazards App - alerts about hazards. Download from the App Store or Google Play. Emergency Mobile Alert - these can be sent to your mobile phone, without needing to download an app or sign up. Check if your phone is capable of receiving them, here. Fire ban - Even if it rains, there is still a total fire ban in place. See www.checkitsalright.nz for more information. Water restrictions - The rain should help replenish reservoirs and water tanks, but being our busy summer period we may have some water restrictions in place. See what restrictions apply on our website www.tcdc.govt.nz/water. Waikato Regional Council has set up an online hub for rainfall and flood-related information to help people more easily keep up to date with severe weather events in the region. It can be found here. Also follow Waikato Civil Defence on Facebook here and check out their website for updates here. Know your neighbours - phone each other in an emergency, especially vulnerable people, to check if they're OK. To report a power outage, contact Powerco or your provider. For more on these channels, and other information about staying informed in emergencies, go to the Civil Defence "Never Happens" website.