Media release

Emergency Management Otago update #4 - 23.30pm

Friday 21 July 2017

Otago continues to be affected by rising rivers from the heavy rainfall the region has received.

Modelling indicates that the Taieri River may reach flows among the highest on record.

Evacuations have occurred in the Silver Stream/Gordon Rd spillway and residents in Henley have also been encouraged to evacuate and most have done so.

Group controller Chris Hawker said that more rain is forecast which is likely to extend the length of time rivers are in high flow but may not increase the peak flows. However civil defence staff would continue to monitor the situation closely throughout the night.

Otago Police are asking people to stay indoors and keep off the roads as the significant weather event is causing widespread flooding across the region.

SH1 between Balclutha and Milton is closed due to severe flooding and slips are coming down in a number of other places.

“People need to heed the advice and stay off the roads,” said Mr Hawker.

“Anyone driving in these conditions is putting themselves at risk and having significant adverse effects on properties they are driving past.

“If you live in an area that could be at risk of flooding, please be prepared to evacuate and follow the advice of any officials.”

Road closures are listed on the NZTA website

Mr Hawker also asked residents to look out for one another and check on their neighbours.

“If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours please check on them.”