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QLDC continues to respond to lake levels

QLDC continues to respond to lake levels

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) staff and contractors are continuing to respond to high lake levels in and around Wānaka and Queenstown in line with the latest modelling and the local situation.

Ongoing precautionary measures include debris clearance on both lakefronts with some 40 truckloads of driftwood removed from Wānaka alone yesterday. Fencing is in place and heavy machinery in operation so please take care if you’re in these areas.

Wastewater remains isolated on Ardmore Street and lower Helwick Street in Wānaka. A small additional area of the Wānaka CBD will have its wastewater services turned off from midday today as a precaution to protect the network in case of further lake level rises. This will affect low-lying parts of Dunmore Street. Council contractors are meeting individual business and property owners to inform them in advance that they will not be able to use toilets, sinks and other drains from midday.

Normal vehicle access remains to the majority of the Wānaka CBD except Ardmore Street from Lakeside Road to McDougall Street, and the lower part of Helwick Street between Dunmore and Ardmore Streets. A temporary 30km/h speed limit remains in place where signed.

There is some restricted pedestrian access in specific areas close to the Wānaka lakefront. Fencing will be moved throughout the day as the lake level changes and people are requested not to enter flooded areas both for their own safety and also to protect private businesses.

Road closures elsewhere in the district remain unchanged. These include Paradise Road, Rees Valley Road, Kinloch Road, The Branches Road (from the boulders) and Mt Aspiring Road (from Roys Peak).

A 130m-long concrete block wall was completed at Queenstown Bay yesterday afternoon. This is to protect the nearby pump station and Bathhouse Café from wave action.

More sand and a further 1,000 sandbags will be delivered to Queenstown today. 500 bags will be available this morning from the Rees Street site, with an additional 500 bags at the Beach Street site this afternoon.

Stock remains in Glenorchy and Wānaka should it be required while feedback from the Kingston community confirms the township has sufficient sandbags.

Otago Regional Council (ORC) and QLDC are continuing to monitor lake and river levels, and are prepared to implement local road closures in affected areas if necessary.

Harbour Master Marty Black reiterated yesterday’s warning about swollen rivers and significant risk due to the possibility of floating debris and submerged structures.

“We recommend everyone stays off the lakes and rivers, in particular the Mata-Au Clutha River which is at High-Level Alert. We are continuing to monitor the levels and flow rates and if necessary will explicitly prohibit any activity on our waterways,” said Mr Black.

This morning’s modelling from ORC, which has factored in current rain events, does not predict further significant increases in the levels of Lakes Wānaka and Wakatipu. Lake Wānaka is predicted to reach 280.43m while Lake Wakatipu will now peak on Monday morning at 311.4m. This would see lakes peak at levels well over a metre below the 1999 level for Wakatipu and just under a metre below for Wānaka.

Further updates will be provided on QLDC’s Facebook page (@QLDCinfo), while updated levels for Lake Wakatipu and Lake Wānaka can be found below.

ENDS|KUA MUTU.

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