Warning to stay clear of Otago Rivers
Wednesday, 26 April 2006
People should keep well away from rivers in Otago, especially in the east and south of the region, which are rising to very high levels following recent downpours.
The Otago Regional Council warns that while farmers in catchments around the region have been notified, other residents need to also stay clear until the flood waters subside.
At 11am this morning the Taieri River at Outram exceeded its third level flood warning of 110 meters, nearly six metres above normal, and is continuing to rise.
Manager Resource Science Matt Hickey said there is likely to be flooding of unprotected areas adjoining the river downstream of Outram,of the semi-protected areas downstream of Allanton and floodwaters could spill into the upper ponding area of East Taieri.
"Farmers are warned that if they haven't already evacuated stock from vulnerable areas they should do so as soon as possible," Mr Hickey said. "Other people living near riverbanks need to be on the alert as well."
In Dunedin the Water of Leith has reached its biggest flows since the flood of 1991. "At 8.30am this morning the Leith peaked at 95 cumecs and has been on its way down since then," Mr Hickey said.
The Council has been monitoring Otago rivers closely over the last 48 hours as steady rain has fallen in many parts of the region. Several rivers have been pushed over or near flood warning levels.
For up to date information on Otago rivers and rainfall see www.orc.govt.nz/Waterinfo
03 474 0827; 027 232 2047