Media release

Emergency Management Otago update #7 - 1.15pm

Saturday 22 July 2017

NZ Defence Force personnel have been working alongside ORC staff and contractors to block a hole alongside the Mill Creek pump station on the Taieri River stopbanks.

[see for photos of this)

Group Controller Scott MacLean said the sandbags and rock work had reduced the backflow that was threatening to undermine and demolish the stopbank, flooding the Mill Creek subdivision. β€œThe support from NZDF personnel has made a huge difference to the response, not just at Mill Creek but right across our operations.β€œ

The Taieri upper ponding area, inland from Mill Creek, has filled and is beginning to overtop – this is a design feature of the Taieri River flood scheme.

At Taieri Mouth, Clutha District Council staff are onsite observing the impact of the Taieri River high flows coinciding with high tides. At present there has been no reported impact on local properties.

Across the region, rain has eased and Mr MacLean said most river levels had stabilised.

There are concerns for the Northern Link fibre-optic cable carrying all the internet traffic from Waitati South, which has been exposed by wave action and erosion at Waitati. [photo attached – please credit NZTA]

Several roads and highways remain closed due to flooding, and several roads in the Central Otago District are also affected by snow. NZTA advises the following state highways were closed at 2.15pm:
SH1 Balclutha to Waihola
SH1 Pukeuri to Glen Avey
SH8 Raes Junction to Milton
SH8 Roxburgh to Raes Junction
SH90 Waikoikoi to Tapanui
SH88 Maia to Sawyers Bay
SH87 Kyeburn to Outram