BIG FLOODS: Queenstown - Alexandra - Wanaka - Downstream Worries - Queenstown - Mountaineer Stuck - Traffic Notices - Forecaster's View.. other news Reserve Bank - Coromandel
EXTENSIVE COVERAGE OF BIG FLOOD
QUEENSTOWN: Queenstown's business area under water. Retailers philosophical. Backpackers and partyers join in effort to sandbag. This is the highest flood level since 1878. A tragedy says one Queenstowner. Slips on the roads. Police want rubber-neckers to stay at home. Travel agents working to rearrange travel plans.
ALEXANDRA: Alexandra under water - rising fast. Clyde Dam operating at outer limits of capabilities. Spokesman says Contact can't do anything about it. All the water is coming straight through the system. Some residents very angry and blame . Town preparing to be drowned.
WANAKA: Several roads into Wanaka wiped out. Lake spills into town. Water rising at a meter every 20minutes. One of the worst floods ever. Kayackers window-shopping. Another nervous night.
DOWNSTREAM WORRIES: Water levels are rising on the Clutha, Matuara and Oreti rivers. Debris piling up. Flood now half a meter below the big flood of 1978 at Balclutha. Locals expecting it to rise and are being asked to be prepared . At the top end the rivers are already at the highest levels since records began. More rain is expected but the Regional Council is confident stop banks will hold the flow.
QUEENSTOWN: Queenstown - Leeanne Duncan Live: Tourists are watching the water rising. This used to be a stream - it has recently burst. Locals trying to keep their sense of humour. Mother of all floods - third in five years.
MOUNTAINEER STUCK: Australian mountaineer stuck on Mt Aspiring after friend raises alarm the weather is atrocious.
TRAFFIC NOTICES: SH6 closed in three places, SH8 in two places, SH85, SH94, Glenorchy Rd and Crown Range Rd all closed.
FORECASTER: Augie Auer with pretty pictures of the rain. The heaviest rain will be easing by sunrise. The rivers and lakes lag the flood crest could be 12 to 18 hours after that. With spotty showers tomorrow- tomorrow could be another day of struggling with water.
RESERVE BANK: The Reserve Bank raises interest rates. Sparking political stunt from Alliance. Treasurer says a modest shft in rates is a small price to pay. Cullen. The Alliance backed by campaign Chicken says that an incoming government will tolerate the amount of interference from the Reserve Bank.
PM IN COROMANDEL: Mrs Shipley has been firing bullets at the cannabis policy of the Greens while campaigning in the Coromandel. The PM says that people will start lighting up in restaurants and smoking joints like cigarettes if the Greens get their way. Jeanette Fitzsimmons has replied by challenging Mrs Shipley to a debate on the subject. Murray McLean says he feels he has to do the best job he can to win the seat for National.