Media release

Media release: ORC monitoring waterways with heavy rain and snow expected

Monday 11 July 2022

Householders and farmers around Otago are being reminded to check their properties and stock in preparation for a “sustained rain event” and snow which is bearing down on many parts of inland and coastal Otago – from mid-Tuesday through to Wednesday.

The Otago Regional Council says MetService has issued a Heavy Rain Watch for North Otago and Dunedin and a Heavy Snow Watch for North Otago, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes, plus there is the possibility of snow on roads from Dunedin to Waitati (SH1), the Crown Range, Lewis Pass (SH7), Arthur's Pass (SH73), Porters Pass (SH73) and Lindis Pass (SH8).

MetService says, “A deep low and associated fronts are expected to move southeast across New Zealand on Tuesday, bringing stormy weather to many areas through to Wednesday.”

Parts of Central Otago have Heavy Snow and Road Snow warnings in place.

ORC’s Duty Flood Officer Eve Bruhns is urging Otago people to prepare for a few days of sustained rain, especially in Dunedin and North Otago, over tomorrow and Wednesday.

“Now is a good time to check that household spouting and stormwater drains are clear of leaves or other debris; and ensure outside items such as furniture, are brought inside or protected,” she says.

Crown Range – MetService

“Farmers should consider where their stock are in relation to rivers and streams and people should keep an eye on rain levels and forecasts if planning any road travel during that period,” says Ms Bruhns.

Depending on rainfall, surface flooding and slips are also possible, she says.

With the current forecast, no major flooding is expected but ORC will monitor closely river levels in the region; in particular in the Kakanui and the Shag river catchments in the Waitaki District, the Waikouaiti River, Water of Leith, Lindsay Creek and Silver Stream in the Dunedin area, and the Tokomairiro River catchment in the Clutha District.


The Waitaki District Council says with the heavy rain and snow watch in place this week, travellers on the roads should take due care and avoid any unnecessary travel as ice, snow and surface flooding may be present.

“Our work crews will be out on the network keeping a watch on the situation as it develops,” a spokesperson says. Road condition updates on local roads will be provided on the Waitaki District Council website.

ORC Water Monitoring and Alerts - Flow Summary

Waitaki District Council website


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