Media release

Rainfall and rivers update #1

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Water levels are high across Otago after heavy rain overnight, with more bad weather predicted later today.

Otago Regional Council (ORC) team members worked through the night to monitor river levels around Otago, with catchments in Lower Clutha, Dunedin, Taieri and North Otago being closely watched.

At this stage the area of focus is the lower Taieri River, particularly at Henley. Rainfall overnight was higher than forecast, and water is spilling into the upper pond of the lower Taieri Flood Protection Scheme. Landowners in this area have been contacted by ORC and it’s likely the riverside spillway gates will be lowered this afternoon to reduce effects on properties further down the river at Henley. Dunedin Civil Defence is being kept informed.

The Clutha River at Balclutha is continuing to rise, and while there are no major effects at the moment, ORC is keeping an eye on this. A number of roads in the Clutha district are flooded, with a king-tide expected just after 1.30 p.m. that will affect coastal roads as well.

The Tokomairaro River is still rising, and an emergency management team is monitoring this and also SH1 through Milton.

In Dunedin, the Water of Leith, Lindsay Creek and Silver Stream are coping well with water volumes but are being closely monitored.  

No issues are expected with the Central Otago lakes, however ORC staff are liaising with NZTA regarding two creeks affecting the state highway south of Roxburgh township.

The weather forecast is for rain to pick up again later this afternoon, and ORC will provide an update across the region later today.

Taieri River at Outram, taken mid-morning today

We recommend people check out our website for the most up to date information

Stay up-to-date through:
Twitter: @ORCfloodinfo
For up-to-date river flow and rainfall information:


Communications contact
Lisa Gloag 
Manager, Community Engagement
Ph 027 202 5410