Media release

Rivers and rainfall update #4

Tuesday 5 January 2021

A heavy rain watch currently in place is likely to impact most significantly on the Manuherekia and Kakanui Rivers.

The rain watch, which applies to Central Otago, North Otago and Dunedin, sees 20-40mm of rain expected this afternoon and tonight.

The Manuherekia River could rise significantly, exceeding flows reached over the weekend.

While flows in the Kakanui River are also likely to increase, they are expected to remain well under the weekend’s peak flows.

Rivers remain high across much of the rest of Otago; most have receded significantly and are not expected to rise significantly tonight.

Ahead of the expected rainfall, ORC Engineering and Operations staff and contractors have been working at pace today alongside local authorities to clear debris and blockages, with a focus on Middlemarch and the Maniototo.

At the Taieri River floodbank near Otokia, the breach has been stabilised and monitoring continues. Investigation of the cause of the breach, including hydraulic modelling, is underway to assist with impact assessment and further stabilisation works.

Stay up-to-date through:

ORC web info hub for this event:

ORC flood alerts on twitter:

Up-to-date river levels, flow and rainfall information at sites across Otago:

Weather watches and warnings: