Media release

Update on rivers and rainfall

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Heavy rainfall warnings are still in place for both Dunedin and North Otago, with MetService advising that periods of heavy rain are likely to continue into the early evening. Caution is advised today as rivers are high, and are likely to stay high even when the rain stops.

In North Otago, the Shag and Kakanui Rivers rose overnight to warning levels, which activated our alert systems to those directly affected. Neither are expected to rise much further.

In Dunedin, the Water of Leith and Lindsay Creek are both rising slowly at present but are expected to stay well within their channels. Caution should be exercised near these rivers as they will remain high and swift.

The Silver Stream is rising with a peak expected around midday, while the Taieri River is expected to peak this evening. Neither are expected to cause flooding at this stage, and the Gordon Road spillway is not expected to overflow.

In South Otago, the Pomahaka River also rose during the night to alert levels but is now dropping.

“While the overall outlook is good, with no significant flooding expected based on current forecasts, caution should nonetheless be taken today – rivers are high, and likely to stay high even as the rain eases” said Gavin Palmer, Regional Council Director Engineering, Hazards and Science. “Falling rivers could rise quickly again even with a little rain.”

Staff are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide further updates if necessary.

Stay up-to-date through:

ORC website:

For flow and rainfall information:


Twitter: @OtagoRC | @ORCfloodinfo