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Otago flooding update Emergency Management Otago

Media Advisory - February 4, 2020 8:30pm

Emergency Management Otago will continue to monitor the situation across Otago as heavy rainfall has impacted the region causing surface flooding, slips and rising lake and river levels.

Rainfall has been consistent in many areas of Otago over the last 72 hours, including in the Otago headwaters and the Pomahaka, Lower Clutha and South Otago catchments. Rainfall has also fallen to a lesser degree in the Lower Taieri and Dunedin catchments.

“Otago Regional Council’s duty flood team have advised that river flows are continuing to rise, and rain is falling in the Manuherikia, Upper Taieri and North Otago catchments,” said Group Controller Richard Saunders.
Lakes Wanaka and Wakatipu are also steadily rising, with Wakatipu exceeding the first warning level at 310.94m.

“There remains a possibility of minor ponding of low-lying reserve areas around the lake foreshore. Lake Wanaka is not posing any issues at this stage,” said Mr Saunders.

With heavy rainfall at the head of Lake Wakatipu, the Rees River overtopped into the flood area in Glenorchy this afternoon.

One property flooded in this location and self-evacuated along with several neighbours. The situation was responded to by the local fire brigade and a Council contractor and they have received support from the local community for the night.

The Clutha River at Balclutha is now predicted to reach 2900 cumecs by midnight tonight, higher than initially predicted.

Mr Saunders said that these predicted flows are a significantly high flow and have the potential for inundation of low-lying areas around Barnego. However, they were not at this stage expecting any impact on the Balclutha township.

Anyone needing to travel is advised to check on road conditions before travelling particularly if travelling to Clutha or Southland where many road closures are in place.

For Dunedin City road conditions and other weather-related information, visit www.dunedin.govt.nz/…/public-not…/alerts/weather-information

For Clutha road conditions and other weather-related information, visit www.cluthadc.govt.nz

For Southland road conditions and other weather-related information, visit www.civildefencesouthland.govt.nz

For information about state highways, visit www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/?layers=road-closures

Rainfall is expected to ease overnight or early on Wednesday, and there is no further severe weather on MetService’s severe weather outlook.


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