The West Coast Regional Council provides a flood monitoring service on the Karamea Buller, Grey, Hokitika and Waiho Rivers. This service uses a network of rainfall and river level recording stations. These transmit information via radio signal to the Council's computer database. Every 15 minutes, each river level recording station compares the information it records with a pre-set alarm level. If the river level reaches the alarm level, the system automatically warns staff.
After receiving a heavy rain warning from weather forecasters, Council staff closely monitor the information transmitted by the recording stations.
Flood warning information is provided to West Coast communities via a network of regional contacts, the Infoline service and this web site.
The regional contacts include: Civil Defence organisations, District Councils, Emergency Services and Transit NZ. These organisations fill operational roles (i.e. evacuations, sand bagging, and road closures where necessary) when flood situations occur. The West Coast Regional Council does not provide direct advice on the movement of stock or evacuation of people.
If flood levels reach dangerous proportions and emergency services can no longer manage the situation then a Civil Defence Emergency may be declared by the local Mayor, following consultation.