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Southland Rivers Running High

Southland Rivers Running High

Persistent and widespread rainfall in the 24 hours to midnight mean Southland rivers are running higher than usual and still rising in some places.

Floodwarnings are already in place for the Mataura, Aparima and Oreti rivers.

Between 30mm and 50mm of rain fell in the headwaters of the Mataura and the Oreti in the 24 hours to midnight yesterday. The rain has since eased, but river levels will continue to rise as the flood waters move down each catchment.

The Mataura at Cattle Flat is running at 1.3m above normal and is expected to peak this afternoon. The Waikaia River peaked at 1.15m above normal at 8.50am at Mahers Beach. The Mataura at Pyramid Bridge is 1.13m above normal and rising at 52mm an hour. River levels at Gore are predicted to peak this evening or in the early hours of tomorrow (Friday) morning.

The flow of the Mataura peaked at Parawa this morning at 130 cumecs – its normal flow is 13cumecs.

The Aparima River at Dunrobin was 1.0m above normal yesterday (Wednesday) and is receding at that site.

The Oreti at Lumsden Cableway was 1.9m above normal at 3am. River levels at Wallacetown are about .5m above normal and are expected to keep rising slowly and peak early on Friday morning.

Duty Floodwarning Officer Chris Jenkins said that water levels will continue to rise as floodwaters move down though the catchment. “There has been high rainfall up country, but because of dry soil conditions, rivers haven’t risen as much as expected and flood peaks are minor, but people should still be mindful of the higher-than-normal river levels, - this particularly applies to campers,” he said.

Up to date information on Southland river levels and rainfall is available on the Environment Southland website www.es.govt.nz and also on the automated telephone service (03) 211 5101

ENDS

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