Media release

ORC Heavy Rainfall Media Update #1

Thursday 20 July 2017

Otago Regional Council will be keeping a close watch on river levels over the next 36 hours as MetService is warning of significant rain for coastal catchments including Dunedin, starting tomorrow morning.

With 200mm forecast to fall tomorrow and into Saturday, rivers will rise rapidly and surface flooding is expected in low-lying areas, including South Dunedin.

Scott MacLean, Director Environmental Monitoring and Operations, said that the predicted rainfall was similar to that forecast just before Easter this year, but over a shorter period.

Based on the current forecast, the Kakanui, Shag, Kauru and Waianakarua Rivers in North Otago and the Leith, Silver Stream and Taieri Rivers are all expected to rise swiftly.

“We’d ask people to be aware that with such heavy rainfall, we expect surface flooding to affect roads and low-lying properties,” Mr MacLean said. “We will be issuing updates regularly on the Otago Regional Council’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts and via the media. People can also see river levels and rainfall for themselves on our WaterInfo page,

As well as monitoring river levels, ORC’s staff are out checking pump stations to check that they are operating as expected.

Emergency Management Otago is also monitoring the situation. Regional Manager Chris Hawker said his staff would be ready to activate in support of Dunedin City and Waitaki District Councils if required.


The next update will be issued around 5pm today

Media contact: Michele Poole, duty Public Information Manager, 0278398306
Otago Regional Council river and rainfall information:
Otago Regional Council website:  
Emergency Management Otago website:  
ORC Facebook:  
ORC Twitter: @OtagoRC
Emergency Management Otago Facebook: