Wild weather: Otago councils busy as rain falls

The country has been hit again this week by the ninth storm to hit New Zealand in the past two months as experts explain how climate change is affecting it. Video / NZ Herald

Dunedin City Council is busy responding to 120 calls today about slides, fallen trees and flooding around the city as rain falls on the land

State Highway 1 from Dunedin to Palmerston was closed all day and Waitati Hall and East Otago Events Center were open to provide shelter and warmth to stranded motorists.

The northbound carriageway is closed between Glenavy and St Andrews.

Heavy rain warnings remain in place for Dunedin and North Otago and a heavy rain watch is in place for Clutha.

A car was left in flood waters on SH1 north of Maheno this morning, where the Kakanui River burst its banks.  Photo /Rebecca Ryan
A car was left in flood waters on SH1 north of Maheno this morning, where the Kakanui River burst its banks. Photo /Rebecca Ryan

A heavy rain warning has been extended for Dunedin until 3pm today and North Otago until 2pm.

Clutha can expect heavy rain until 11pm tonight.

MetService had previously expected the rain to ease by midday.

A further 15-20mm of rain is expected in Dunedin and North Otago, on top of what has already fallen. Rain totaled 140mm in central Dunedin and 120mm in North Otago in the 24 hours to this morning.

Several North Otago schools were closed for the day, including Five Forks, Maheno, Omarama, Duntroon, Ardgowan, Kakanui, Totara, Hampden and Maheno Kindergarten.

In Dunedin, East Taieri School and Primary School were closed.

Civil Defense advises parents to contact schools to find out when they will reopen.
A DCC spokesman said there had been no reports of major property damage and that the city’s infrastructure appeared to be “well-maintained”.

Twenty-seven roads around the city were closed, including the Coast Road around Karitane, which was among the most affected. A full list of road closures is at the bottom of the page.

Dunedin mayor Aaron Hawkins said this morning it was clear the worst of the rain had passed and there would be no further flooding overnight.

Dunedin police went door-to-door to evacuate people inside homes in danger.  Image / Allison Images
Dunedin police went door-to-door to evacuate people inside homes in danger. Image / Allison Images

“We are waiting for more rain during the day… and we are keeping a short vigil in one of those rivers in the cities outside, but at night we know that we avoided a bomb ,” he said.

There is no major flooding but Dunedin’s emergency management continues to monitor streams and rivers, including Lindsay Creek and the Water of Leith in North Dunedin.

The Waikouaiti and Taieri rivers are being monitored.

At 12:30pm, the waters of Leith and Lindsay Creek were beginning to drop but were being monitored closely.

Dunedin councilor and farmer Mike Lord said the south of the city had not had as much rain as Dunedin. The Taieri River is rising to the point of flooding in low-lying agricultural land, but in general the flood protection systems are very effective.

Coast Rd, near the junction with SH1, is covered in water as vehicles wait for the road to reopen.  Photo / Stephen Jaquiery
Coast Rd, near the junction with SH1, is covered in water as vehicles wait for the road to reopen. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery

Police say a well opened on Gladstone Rd in Dalmore, near Aquinas College, overnight. The road is closed.

Flooding on Gladstone Rd caused the well to reopen while police and contractors were on scene.

There were also several explosions on Portobello Rd, police said.

The Dunedin Leavers

Seventy-one people from 26 states in some low-lying areas of North Dunedin near the Water of Leith were evacuated last night as floodwaters threatened properties.

They were allowed to return early in the morning and only a few people used the drop-off center at Dunedin North Intermediate overnight.

Campus Watch staff knocked on the doors of around 35 affected properties between Montgomery Ave and Leith St mid-afternoon yesterday to warn residents of the flooding.
A Dunedin City Council spokeswoman said students were told to consider leaving their dorms if there was somewhere else to go, and those who chose to stay in a bag were asked to stay. and ready to move at a moment’s notice.

At 7pm, the campus workers left the tenants.

Aimie Clark, 21, of Leith St, from Christchurch, said she and her flatmates did not leave at the first request, believing they would be safe if the water did not enter their back yard.

But they panicked when they were told the evacuation was not voluntary, he said.

“It’s scary and exciting at the same time.”

He took a bag packed with his passport, a laptop and other electronics, and a suit of clothes, and planned to sleep at a friend’s place.

Blacks Road Grocer was inundated with about 15cm of flood water in the North East Valley yesterday and is too damaged to open today.

Shop owner Christopher Wilson believed it was due to roadworks rather than the road itself.

As a precaution, several patients from Otago Community Hospice, on North Rd, were transferred to Mercy Hospital last night.

The council has set up a drop-off center at Dunedin North Intermediate and other accommodation options are also available.

There was flooding on State Highway 1 between Maheno and Oamaru yesterday afternoon.  Photo / Rebecca Ryan
There was flooding on State Highway 1 between Maheno and Oamaru yesterday afternoon. Photo / Rebecca Ryan

Flooding was also widespread in Mosgiel and South Dunedin, and the council and the New Zealand military set up sandbag stations in those areas for residents to collect.
In Maheno, Maheno school closed early yesterday morning.

Principal Stella Macrae said she had spoken to parents earlier in the day and all 64 pupils had been picked up by 2.15pm.

A message will be posted on the school’s Facebook page today to let people know if the school is open.

Emergency Management Otago (EMO) has urged people to be aware of water levels in their area overnight, especially in areas more prone to flooding, as heavy rain continues between Otago.

A gentle thunderstorm moved into the South Island yesterday and is expected to continue until late this morning, when rain is expected to begin.

An EMO spokeswoman said vulnerable areas were South Dunedin areas such as Bathgate Park, Leith St, Lindsay Creek near Otago Hospice on North Rd, Mosgiel near Silver Stream on Gordon Rd, Henley township , Milton and State Highway 1 in Waikouaiti.

Out in the water after surfing in the Water of Leith last evening, (from left) Riley Green, 19, Anton Weight, 20, and brother Croyden Weight, 19. Photo / Linda Robertson
Out in the water after surfing in the Water of Leith last evening, (from left) Riley Green, 19, Anton Weight, 20, and brother Croyden Weight, 19. Photo / Linda Robertson

State Route 1 in Hampden is open but Big Kuri Creek has breached its banks and water has covered the bridge.

State Route 85 (the Pigroot) is open but flooded and a downed tree.

In Oamaru, Old Mill Rd and Parsons Rd were closed this morning due to flooding, along with 20 other rural roads around the district.

A tree has fallen on SH85, blocking one carriageway.  Photo / Amy Hughes
A tree has fallen on SH85, blocking one carriageway. Photo / Amy Hughes

A Waitaki District Court spokeswoman said the Kakanui River had flooded overnight but was rising again early this morning. The Shag and Grange rivers are also high and rising.

Emergency Management Otago urged people to be aware of water levels in their area, especially in areas that could be flooded.

State Highway 87 is open to Middlemarch but flooding means speed restrictions are in place.

State Highway 1 between Palmerston and Dunedin is closed due to flooding.  Image / Provided
State Highway 1 between Palmerston and Dunedin is closed due to flooding. Image / Provided

.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: