Dunedin July Severe Weather update #1
Dunedin July Severe Weather update #1
12.15pm, Friday 21 July 2017
Dunedin City Council is closely monitoring the situation ahead of anticipated flooding issues expected in the city later today and overnight.
The most up-to-date severe weather warning issued by the MetService this morning forecasts periods of heavy rain until Saturdaylunchtime. In the 27 hours from 9am today to midday Saturday, 150 to 200mm of rain is forecast, with peak intensities of 10-15mm an hour at times today.
Dunedin City Council Civil Defence Controller Sandy Graham says this is a significant amount of rain which has the potential to cause flooding issues, slips and disruption to transport.
“Dunedin City Council staff and contractors, and Civil Defence personnel are therefore doing all they can to ensure the city is prepared for the anticipated downpour,” Ms Graham says.
“We also encourage all residents and businesses across the city to make their own preparations. Residents in low-lying areas who feel concerned should make plans to self-evacuate themselves to stay with friends or family who live on higher ground should it be required later on. Check on neighbours, particularly if they are vulnerable.”
As a precaution, Dunedin CDEM will be establishing information centres in South Dunedin and Mosgiel as a place where people can go for more information and which can also potentially be used as welfare centres if the need develops. More details about these will be made available once locations are confirmed.
People concerned about rising water and wanting to divert running water can pick up sandbags from the locations below. Contractors are on-site to assist with filling and loading. There has already been a steady demand for sandbags, particularly from the South Dunedin location.
• South Dunedin – carpark behind St Clair Tennis Club, Victoria Road
• Mosgiel – Memorial Park car park beside the stadium/Mosgiel Memorial Gymnasium
Roads & stormwater
The DCC recently completed a full cleaning programme for the city’s 8000 mudtanks. Additional checks of mud tanks in low lying and high risk areas are taking place. Road maintenance contractors continue to sweep gutters around the city. Crews will continue to work throughout today and overnight.
If you are able, you may want to prepare for the forecast heavy rain by checking the gutters and grates on your street for leaves and debris. This will help water get into the tanks and reduce the risk of surface flooding. Please remove any debris well clear, so that it cannot flow back on top of grates.
There are several road and ford closures in place as a result of flooding, mostly in rural areas. A full list of road closures and conditions is available online at www.dunedin.govt.nz/road-conditions.
The MetService has advised that rain may turn to snow near the summit of the Dunedin-Waitati highway overnight tonight (Friday), and 3 to 6cm may accumulate through to Saturday morning.
All DCC stormwater screens are clear. We are continuing to monitor the situation and crews will be checking screens to ensure they are kept clear of debris.
DCC sportgrounds will remain closed today and Saturday. The Dunedin premier club rugby semi-finals at Hancock Park will go ahead as scheduled, provided it is safe to do so.
We are advising people to be prepared. Things you can do include:
• Check spoutings and drainage channels for blockages and clear them if necessary
• If your basement is prone to flooding lift items that could be damaged by water off the floor. Be sure garden sprays and other chemicals won’t be affected
• Check grates near your house for blockages and keep them clear of leaves and other debris to avoid water building up and affecting your property.
For the public to keep up to date with what is happening and for advice about what to do if the rain gets worse, please see the DCC website, DCC social media, listen to the radio and use other media.
Please refer family, friends and neighbours to these communication channels.