21 July 2017
Update #3, 12.15pm Friday 21 July
Otago Regional Council’s flood management team is at full strength ahead of the heavy rain that is forecast for coastal Otago today and tomorrow.
Rivers are still currently at normal winter levels but are expected to rise swiftly. Widespread surface flooding is also expected in all low-lying areas including South Dunedin.
Scott MacLean, ORC’s Director of Environmental Monitoring and Operations, says that people in coastal areas throughout Otago should be aware of the potential for flooding, with a combination of heavy rain and storm surges, with galeforce winds and high tides also forecast. MetService is also predicting heavy snowfalls in inland Otago tonight and into tomorrow.
ORC’s flood management team are constantly updating their models that relate rainfall to river levels and flows. They will be working closely with the Waitaki District, Dunedin City and Clutha District Councils and Emergency Management Otago throughout today, overnight and into the weekend.
Chris Hawker, Manager of Emergency Management Otago, said staff were on standby to activate whenever required. “We’re asking people to look at their own circumstances, depending on where they live,” Mr Hawker said. “If they are in low-lying areas then their access could be affected by flooding; their homes may be cut-off. People in parts of South Dunedin will be aware of the risk of surface flooding, and those along the coast need to think about the impact of high tides and wave action, and stay away from the shoreline. There’s also the possibility of power cuts if high winds bring down power poles.”
Boaties are also advised to check their moorings and monitor the marine forecast.
The next update will be issued around 4pm unless the situation alters significantly
Media contact: Michele Poole, duty Public Information Manager, 0278398306
Otago Regional Council river and rainfall information: www.orc.govt.nz/waterinfo
Otago Regional Council website: www.orc.govt.nz
Emergency Management Otago website: www.otagocdem.govt.nz
ORC Facebook: www.facebook.com/OtagoRegionalCouncil
ORC Twitter: @OtagoRC
Emergency Management Otago Facebook: www.facebook.com/OtagoCDEM