Media release

Former Tropical Cyclone Uesi Update

Friday 14 February 2020

Attributable to ORC Duty Flood Officer Ellyse Gore:

The former Tropical Cyclone Uesi is expected to bring rain to Otago over the weekend, but the chance of rainfall meeting warning criteria and posing serious issues for the region has lowered.

MetService currently has an active heavy rain watch in place for the Otago headwaters, but has low confidence (meaning a 1 in 5 chance) of warning levels of rain for the whole region.

It is still possible that local rain and overland flows may impact areas of ponding and areas still saturated from last week’s event, in particular around the lower Clutha.

Lake levels in the Wakatipu and Wanaka are likely to rise in response to rainfall, but are not expected to cause any concern.

ORC’s engineering team is closely monitoring the situation around Balclutha after the Clutha River peaked last week at its highest level since 1999. In particular, flood banks at Hospital Road and Waitepeka are being closely monitored, where flood issues were mitigated during last week’s flows with sandbags, spillway modification and the use of pumps and gates to manage water.

Staff will maintain a close watch on the lower Clutha flood protection scheme throughout this event.