Media release

Rainfall and rivers update #3 (9:00 a.m.)

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Taieri and Clutha River levels still very high.

The majority of rivers and streams that were in flood yesterday and last night have now peaked and flows have started to recede.

The exceptions to this are the Lower Clutha River, the mid-to-upper reach of the Taieri River, and the Pomahaka River at Burkes Ford.   

The Clutha River is currently flowing at 2720 cumecs. Flood flows of this magnitude have not been seen in the Clutha River since November 1999.

The Clutha River is being closely monitored by ORC flood management staff, and ORC Engineering and Operations personnel are onsite to also keep an eye on the situation. Information is being provided to Clutha Civil Defence.

Overnight, ORC staff installed a barrier where the main South Island railway line passes through the Balclutha flood banks, to help protect the township from flooding.

The Taieri River at Outram peaked at 1400 cumecs at 9:00 p.m. last night. ORC opened the Riverside spillway gates late afternoon yesterday to divert water into a ponding area that is part of the Lower Taieri Flood Protection Scheme. This was done to reduce the effects of flooding on properties further down the river at Henley.

The upper pond is continuing to fill and has received a significant amount of water as per its design. ORC staff are monitoring water levels in the pond. Flows will remain high throughout this catchment, especially with regard to the Lower Taieri Plains.

As of 9:00 p.m. last night, Metservice lifted the heavy rain warning. Over the last 48 hours the eastern half of Otago received a significant amount of rainfall. The following are some of the higher rainfall totals we received: 

  • Lochindorb - 101mm
  • Hindon - 106mm
  • Swampy - 151mm
  • Blue Mountains - 117mm

ORC staff will continue to monitor river levels today.

ORC installed a barrier on the main railway line into Balclutha, where it goes through the flood banks

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:

New Zealand Transport Agency


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