Media advisory

Media advisory: South Island weather event

Thursday 11 April 2024

This is a significant rainfall event for parts of the South Island and localised flooding is possible across parts of Otago. People should treat all waterways with caution, as some rivers are now beginning to rise with this afternoon’s rain.

Some localised flooding is possible on the low-lying areas around Balclutha, the lower Clutha Delta and low-lying paddocks bounding the Pomahaka River. While the forecast rain for Otago was not as intense as expected, river flows are rising. Rain into the upper Clutha catchment will take some time to reach Balclutha, which is estimated to peak about 6am on Saturday. There could be flooding of areas near river banks, but well within the capacity of the floodbanked parts of the Lower Clutha Flood Protection and Drainage Scheme.

ORC Staff are on call and will continue to monitor the situation actively overnight, and through the weekend. Slightly less rain is expected for Central Otago, Dunedin and North Otago areas, compared with the Clutha catchment.

If people live or work close to a river or area that regularly floods they should take any usual precautions, such as monitoring stock.

Caution should also be exercised while driving, as slips and other hazards are likely. 

- Science manager, Tom Dyer