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Dunedin July Severe Weather update 5.40am

Dunedin July Severe Weather update 5.40am, Saturday 22 July 2017

Dunedin City Council staff and contractors will be busy from first light assessing damage caused by heavy rain and flooding.

Surface flooding has affected roads around the wider city and forced some residents, in areas such as lower Outram, Mosgiel and the Taieri, to evacuate.

The Army assisted Civil Defence in rescuing nine people trapped in and on cars on State Highway 87 early this morning. A unimog transported the occupants to safety.

Dunedin Civil Defence Controller Sue Bidrose says people need to be aware there will be widespread debris and damage and motorists must drive carefully and to the conditions.

“We are asking people to respect road signs and avoid driving through floodwaters if possible. If they have to drive through surface water, please do so very slowly.”

A number of fords and roads will remain closed until they have been properly assessed.

A large slip on Portobello Road, close to King George Street, means access to Portobello and Broad Bay has been cut off. There are a number of other slips on the Otago Peninsula and access to Macandrew Bay is by Highcliff, Camp and Castlewood Roads.

Access via Highcliff Road is not possible due to current work repairing previous slips.

Dr Bidrose says a geotechnical assessment will be carried out at the Portobello Road slip site at first light today.

“The priority will be to establish access past the slip site to enable access for residents.”

An earlier slip close to the Harwood turn-off blocking the road will also need to be assessed.

Dog owners taking their dogs along the Silverstream Flood Bank track in Mosgiel are advised to take extreme care. The high rainfall in the Silverstream catchment may sweep possum carcasses poisoned with 1080 downstream. Keep dogs on a lead at all times; carcasses will be extremely toxic. OSPRI has been asked to patrol at first light and remove any carcasses.

A number of roads are closed due to flooding – a full list of road closures and conditions is available online atwww.dunedin.govt.nz/road-conditions. State highway closures are on the NZ Transport Agency website athttp://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/.

A state of emergency continues and DCC staff, contractors, emergency services and Civil Defence personnel are responding as quickly as they can to weather-related issues based on priority.

Dr Bidrose says that motorists should not go sightseeing, or put themselves or others at risk.

Anyone wanting to report flood-related issues with DCC services should call us on 03 477 4000 to report it. Anyone who feels their safety is in danger or who has water entering their house or business should call emergency services on 111.

Residents in low-lying areas who feel concerned can self evacuate. If you choose to evacuate and need help to do so, please call the DCC on 03 477 4000.

Information Centres
The Dunedin City Council is still operating two information centres, in South Dunedin and Mosgiel, as places where people can go for more information. The centres are currently staffed and are located at:

• Mosgiel – Fire Station Theatre, 3 Cargill Street
• South Dunedin – The Mercy Room, Catholic Social Services, 42 Macandrew Road

General preparedness

• 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.

www.dunedin.govt.nz
www.facebook.com/DunedinCityCouncil
https://twitter.com/DnCityCouncil

Anyone with flood-related queries or issues should call 03 477 4000.

ENDS

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