Media release

Rainfall and rivers update #10 and summary of Otago Flood event

Thursday 29 November 2018

Otago Regional Councillors thank the community and ORC staff for their exemplary handling of the recent flooding event

When accepting ORC staff’s interim report on the flooding that affected Otago as far inland as the Manuhereika Valley, Otago Regional Council “commended both staff and the community who worked so cohesively to mitigate negative impacts of this major rainfall event”, said Cr Gretchen Robertson.

Cr Gretchen Robertson said, “the water will take some time to recede from paddocks and pasture and the lasting effects of that will be seen and felt for some time yet”.

Councillors around the table echoed their support and gratitude to staff who worked to protect the communities affected by the flooding and to the communities throughout the region who communicated and supported each other through a difficult time.

ORC Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Gardner said, “Staff managed this event extremely well. They are well deserving of our thanks and gratitude for the huge hours they worked to ensure the safety of our communities, whilst providing the public with real time, relevant and regular information throughout this event”.

Mrs Gardner said, “The community should also be commended on how well they responded to this event and how they worked with us to achieve the best possible outcomes under challenging circumstances”.

Rain has eased across the region since the weekend, and the ORC expects river levels to continue receding over the next week. There is no further significant rain forecast for Otago in the extended outlook.

The Taieri River flow continues to fall, allowing water to drain from the ponding areas. All six pump stations across the lower Taieri area are operating.

Flow in the Clutha River has also receded. The six pump stations across the lower Clutha area are operational.

ORC’s Dr Gavin Palmer, Director Engineering, Hazards, Resource Science said, “Overall the infrastructure is working well and with the forecast showing no significant rain events over the next week, we look forward to seeing water levels continue to recede”.

Dr Palmer said, “we want to acknowledge the work of the City Council and District Councils, as well as other public infrastructure owners and operators and staff of Emergency Management Otago”.

Otago Regional Council staff will continue to monitor river flows and flood schemes closely, with flood managers and field staff rostered 24/7.


Stay up-to-date:

We recommend people check out WaterInfo on our website for the most up to date information on flows:

Twitter: @ORCfloodinfo


New Zealand Transport Agency:


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


Media contact:
Emma Schranz – ORC Senior Media Advisor
Ph 027 627 5894