State of Emergency Declared in Alexandra
A state of emergency has been announced in the Central Otago town of Alexandra as the worst flood in over 100 years hits the area.
Over 300 people are being evacuated from low lying areas of Alexandra and Queenstown, and Wanaka have now been cut off from access from the outside.
Hydrologists say once the rain stops lake levels could continue to rise for another 24 hours.
Two houses were evacuated in Glenorchy last night as lake Wakatipu continued to rise. A number of houses and shops in Queenstown have been hit by the flood waters, despite valiant sandbagging efforts from volunteers all night.
Fresh water has, with a number of roads, been cut in Alexandra and Queenstown. Water levels in Lake Wanaka are rising at about six centimetres per hour and the Clutha River was running at four times its normal level.
More than 350 millimetres of rain has fallen in the area over the last 48 hours.