Media release

Media release: Vulnerable parts of Otago under close watch tonight as rain continues

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Emergency Management Otago is asking people and residents in their homes to remain vigilant of water levels in their area overnight, particularly in areas more susceptible to flooding, as heavy rain continues into the evening across Otago.

The slow-moving front has been moving southwards down the South Island today and is expected to continue overnight through to late-Wednesday morning, when the rain is expected to begin easing.

Areas more vulnerable include, but are not limited to:

  • SH1 is likely to close north of Maheno at Kakanui river and north of Hampden at Big Kuri Creek. Due to flood waters and motorists are discouraged from travelling north unless essential.
  • Mosgiel near the Silver Stream Spillway in Gordon Rd in particular
  • Henley township on the Taieri
  • Leith St, particularly between the foot and road bridges on the left bank of the Water of the Leith
  • Lindsay Creek, near the Hospice on North Rd
  • Milton, due to run-off from surrounding hills around Milton
  • SH1 at Waikouaiti
  • Parts of South Dunedin, for example around Bathgate Park

Dunedin City Council has provided sandbags and these are available at the Mosgiel Gymnasium at Church Rd, and in South Dunedin in Victoria Road by the carpark area next to the ice-skating rink. Anyone who is unable to collect sandbags, for example they are elderly or have a disability, can call 03 477 4000 and delivery may be arranged.

Otago Regional Council engineering staff are positioned at vulnerable rivers and streams overnight – the list of rivers is available on the top of the Otago Regional Council’s website.

Council staff from Clutha, Waitaki, and Dunedin City along with emergency services and lifeline agencies are closely watching and preparing as the evening unfolds. People are advised to dial 111 if there is an emergency and should keep contact details of their district or city councils on hand.

Emergency Management Otago, Group Controller Matt Alley asked people to check their Council websites, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Facebook pages for updates.

Residents should continue to observe boil or conserve water notices and to ensure their household plan, emergency supplies including stored water and getaway kits are prepared.

“We’re keeping a very close watching brief on the situation right across Otago, and are ready to escalate if necessary,” he said.