Media release

Rainfall and rivers update #4 (1:30 p.m.)

Wednesday 21 November 2018

The Clutha River is still high, but waters are contained within the banks and flood scheme.

Water levels in the Clutha River are still rising, but the rate of this is easing and the flow is currently at 2700 cumecs.

ORC team members have been in the air and on the ground assessing the river and have been able to confirm that the river, which has not been this high since November 1999, is contained within the flood scheme banks. The flood banks protect more than 9,000 hectares of land, including the Balclutha township.

The floodway on Inch Clutha Island is operating as it should, with capacity for more water if flows continue to increase.

Staff have also been checking the integrity of the flood banks in both the Clutha and Taieri Flood Protection Schemes and said they are holding up well, with no signs of significant damage. 

The Waipiata River is still rising due to water coming out of the Loganburn Dam. ORC is looking at whether we’ll get a second peak into the Taieri River and will have an update on this later today.

The Taieri River at Outram peaked last night and is now around 980 cumecs. There is still water spilling into the upper pond, and as at 9:30 a.m. this was 74% full. ORC staff are doing an aerial inspection of this area.

An updated weather report shows more rain is forecast to start this afternoon and continue until 2:00 a.m. tomorrow. It’s expected that 25-30mm will fall on top of what has already fallen. It’s predicted to be steady rain, without the intensity of yesterday’s rainfall. ORC is modelling how the rivers will cope with this extra rainfall, including the Water of Leith and Lindsay Creek.

ORC will continue to have staff on the ground for the rest of the day and overnight.

While there is flooding in and around Balclutha, it is contained within the flood banks and floodway.

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