Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Storm Damage in Fiordland

Media release


10 January 2013, 2pm

Storm Damage in Fiordland

The Department of Conservation reports that there has been widespread flooding within Fiordland National Park as a result of a storm that peaked between 9pm and midnight last night.

The flooding has washed out sections of the Milford Track. The Department has initiated emergency response actions to keep the flow of trampers through the track. Weather peaked before midnight with up to 22mm/hr of rain falling.

“While the full extent of the damage is still being determined we are doing everything within our ability to keep the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler up and running,” advises Annie Wallace, DOC spokesperson. “Staff are being flown into the Milford Track to replace damaged bridges, and trampers are being flown over a short section of track before Mackinnon Pass. The independent and guided walkers are crossing Mackinnon Pass together due to high winds on the saddle. One way or another, a lot of trampers are going to have a very memorable new year tramp!”

“There has been further damage to the track down the Arthur valley but an early morning assessment indicates it is passable. The families that stayed on at Dumpling Hut will continue to Milford today,” Ms Wallace said. “At this stage we expect all trampers booked on the Milford Track to continue as planned.”

A prolonged electrical storm has damaged the radio repeater on the Milford Track exacerbating communication on the track.

On the Kepler Track all walkers managed to traverse the alpine section of the track yesterday in spite of high winds. The Iris Burn River flooded across the track. The roar of rocks crashing down the river could be heard as far away as Moturau Hut last night.

The Routeburn Track is closed at the Lake Mackenzie outlet – midway through the track - due to flooding. DOC advises that trampers on the track are all well and able to continue out at either end of the track and those booked to go onto the track can proceed but may need to come out the same way depending on when the flood levels subside.

Richard Kennett, DOC’s Visitor Assets Programme Manager in Queenstown further advises, “The Greenstone Track appears to be fine but the road is closed through Kinloch due to washouts. We are currently ferrying trampers off the Greenstone Track by boat.”

Mr Kennett recommends trampers not to use the Rees-Dart Track until the weather improves and the rivers drop. The Dart Road has also been washed out.


Background
• The Milford, Kepler and Routeburn huts have essentially been at capacity at this peak tramping time.
• Peak rainfall was 22mm/hr matching the intensity of the storm that occurred on 1 January but high winds accompanied this storm increasing the anticipated level of damage.
• Storm events occur at any time in Fiordland’s alpine environment. The Department of Conservation has extensive contingency planning in place to manage the effects of these events on the high use tracks. This includes having Great Walks Conservation Rangers at the huts, radio communications and contingency supplies such as a stock of steel truss bridges that can be flown immediately to affected areas.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Children’s Commission Report On CYF

Accusing the overworked and underfunded staff at Child, Youth and Family of a “dump and run culture of neglect” is the kind of luxury that a Children’s Commissioner can afford to indulge in from his own comfy perch in the bureaucracy. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news