All Mataura residents return home
All Mataura residents were able to return to their properties from 6pm Thursday when the cordon surrounding the town was lifted.
Emergency Management Southland Controller Angus McKay said around 30 Mataura properties were flooded, and temporary accommodation has been provided for any affected families. In Gore, residents have been able to return to the 12 properties flooded in Ontario St, following a pumping operation to remove the water.
Pumping is underway in Mataura to remove water from flooded areas and there may be delays and obstructions for local traffic, as well as noise from the operations. There are also a few Mataura properties without power because of floodwater effects or concerns over safety. People are advised to go to the Mataura Community Centre if they need help because of property damage or other issues. This hub will remain open for as long as necessary.
In three severely affected rural areas MPI and the Rural Support Trust are contacting farmers to check how they are coping and whether they need additional support.
All state highways are now open with detours and speed restrictions in many areas – NZTA and AA websites have the latest updates. Many local roads are still closed or have speed restrictions. Drivers are reminded to take special care, obey all signs and instructions and not to drive through flooded areas.
All rivers in the district have peaked and have reducing flow volumes. Stop banks are being checked for structural integrity and so far, there are no issues. Engineers are having to wait for flow volumes to recede to check all stop banks. Weather conditions in Southland are forecast to improve over the next few days, and although a band of rain is forecast for Saturday morning and again on Sunday, these are not expected to cause issues.