Media release

Severe weather warning lifted although some rivers still rising

Sunday 3 January 2021

The severe weather warning for Otago has now been lifted, although some rainfall and isolated thunderstorms are still expected today. Some rivers in Otago will continue to rise today.

Rivers remain high throughout Otago and some are still rising. These are: Taieri River at Outram, Taieri River at Sutton, Manuherikia River at the campground and Clutha River at Balclutha. Rivers in North Otago are now receding and the headwaters have now peaked.

Pomahaka River at Burkes Ford is also still rising, and residents in the area have been contacted by ORC staff to warn them about potential flooding. ORC staff are keeping an eye on what impact this might have on the lower Clutha River at Balclutha and it looks like the river is unlikely to reach flood levels.

ORC staff contacted some land owners in the Taieri flood protection scheme late yesterday, before the Riverside spillway was opened overnight. There are road closures at SH87 and the intersection of Riverside Road and Bush Road.

Engineering staff continue to monitor ORC flood scheme infrastructure region-wide, including pump stations, flood-banks and channels, with all schemes performing well. Coastal mouths are being monitored and were opened yesterday where needed.

ORC’s 24/7 duty flood officers will continue to monitor river levels carefully as rivers recede. Further updates will be issued as needed.

With weather expected to clear soon, we remind people to stay out of the water for 48 hours after heavy rain.


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: