Media release

Heavy rain likely to push up Otago rivers

Tuesday 11 April 2017

The Otago Regional Council is keeping an eye on river levels in light of a severe weather warning issued by MetService today.

Heavy rain is expected in eastern Otago from around 3am tomorrow to 6am Thursday morning, with 80mm to 120mm forecast to fall during this period at a maximum rate of 15mm an hour.

Otago gets a rain event of this scale about once a year, and the predicted rainfall is about half the amount that fell in the June 2015 floods.

Most of the rivers and streams in eastern Otago – particularly the Shag, Water of Leith (and Lindsay Creek), Silver Stream, Tokomairiro, and Pomahaka rivers are expected to rise from tomorrow. Later in the event the Taieri River at Outram is likely to be high.

Based on current forecasting, rivers and flood channels should be able to safely contain the rainfall.

South Dunedin groundwater levels are currently not high but are likely to rise during or after the event.

People are advised to keep up to date with the latest weather forecast (via MetService) and river levels.

Otago Regional Council has a 24 hour duty flood manager monitoring river and lake levels. Information on river and lake levels is also available on ORC’s WaterInfo website or through the Flow phone on 0800 426 463.

For more information contact

Gavin Palmer
Director Engineering, Hazards and Science
Ph 0800 474082 or 0274 933 960

ORC communications contact

Mark Peart
Team Leader Communications – Channels
Ph 0800 474082 or 027 5312620