Dunedin residents warned to prepare for heavy flooding

Mon, Mar 20
Rainy weather.

Dunedin residents have been warned to be prepared for heavy flooding which could impact the city from this evening.

MetService has issued orange heavy rain warnings and watches for parts of the Otago region from today through to early Wednesday.

"Dunedin and Clutha are forecast to receive between 60-90mm of rain with possible thunderstorms and the rest of Otago, including the headwaters of the lakes and rivers, are to expect periods of heavy southerly rain," Emergency Management Otago group manager Matt Alley said this afternoon.

"A strong wind watch has been issued for North Otago and Dunedin with severe gale south to southwest winds possible in exposed places especially near the coast.

"Our team are closely monitoring this weather event and are ready to respond should there be impacts across our communities. We are working closely with our colleagues at Otago Regional Council and have engaged with our partner agencies including Fire and Emergency NZ, Police, St John, NZTA and welfare groups."

Residents have been advised to keep away from low-lying, flood-prone areas and not to drive through any flood water.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Dunedin mayor Jules Radich said heavy rain and strong winds are expected for the city "from 10pm tonight into tomorrow morning".

"It is likely the heaviest rain will fall between 10pm tonight and 11am tomorrow," she said.

"Dunedin is well prepared for this event, however, it is possible the quantity of rain could cause flooding in various parts of the city."

MetService is expected to provide an update on the weather later tonight.

Residents have been advised to "please make any preparations that are appropriate for your property and check on any friends and family that may benefit from your assistance".

Sandbags are available from Ice Stadium in St Kilda and Memorial Park Stadium in Mosgiel.

Further information on possible welfare centres will be provided on the Dunedin City Council Facebook page and website.

"But please act now while it’s daylight and before the rain becomes a reality," Radich said.

"As we move through this event, please do not drive around town. Stay home and stay safe."

Up to date information on the latest weather warnings and watches can be found on the MetService website.


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