Media release

Otago CDEM Group update #5 - 4.50am

Saturday 22 July 2017

Over 200 properties have been evacuated across Otago overnight, with the majority being in the Dunedin City and its rural communities.

All state highways across the region are closed and there are numerous local road closures. Steady rain is continuing to fall in Dunedin, where access to the Otago Peninsula is cut off by several major slips.

Otago Group Controller Scott MacLean said conditions have eased in the Waitaki District, where four homes were evacuated in Oamaru last night and another four in Hilderthorpe.

The major area of focus currently is Outram on the Taieri Plain near Dunedin, where around 100 homes have been evacuated and more householders have been warned to be prepared to evacuate if conditions change. Civil Defence teams are also going door to door in parts of Mosgiel to advise residents that surface flooding may cause more homes to be evacuated.

Further south, the Clutha District Council activated its emergency operations centre last night after flooding affected a small number of properties in Milton, Lawrence and Waitahuna. Teams also sandbagged the shopping area in Lawrence and went door to door in low-lying parts of Milton, advising householders that they may need to evacuate if conditions worsen.

Otago Regional Council flood managers are continuing to patrol and monitor rivers across the region. The biggest impact currently is on the Taieri River, where flood levels at Outram are at the second highest level ever recorded, at 1825 cumecs and the river was still rising at 4.30am.

The Manuherikia River peaked at Ophir last night, at the fourth highest level on record. One property was evacuated from Oturehua.

Other rivers which have stabilised and are now only rising slowly include the Silver Stream, Water of Leith and Lindsay Creek in Dunedin; and the Tokomairiro and Waitahuna Rivers in the Clutha District. The Waianakarua, Kakanui and Shag rivers in North Otago have peaked.

Delta has advised that there are power outages in Berwick, Henley, Leith Valley, Mt Cargill, Swamp Summit, Maori Hill and Woodhaugh.