Parts of Dunedin were flooded late yesterday afternoon when a
thunderstorm struck, causing havoc for some central-city
In less than 30 minutes, 15mm of rain fell in the central
city, with 18.8mm falling between 4pm and 5pm. Water washed
into about 20 businesses, mostly in George St between the
Wall Street mall and the St Andrew St intersection.
It also provided a surprise for one Musselburgh resident, who
was sweeping pooled water off his driveway when he
encountered a 1m eel slithering around on the footpath.
''It gave me a hell of a fright ... I swept it into the
gutter and it found its way through the grating of the
drain,'' Bruce Beath said.
MetService confirmed the storm formed west of the city and
then crossed over it and Otago Peninsula before moving north.
Alibi Bar, on the corner of Princes St and the lower Octagon,
was flooded when water from a manhole in the footpath entered
Staff were not surprised, a staff member, who declined to be
''It's not the first time it's happened. We're pretty used to
In George St, dirt and water lay in the worst-affected store,
Jay Jays Ltd, and the Fire Service was called to pump water
Staff declined to speak to the Otago Daily Times.
Staff at neighbouring stores said it was not the first time
they had been affected.
Staff at Daniels Gemtime Jewellers and Max Fashions said the
water had risen up the kerbs and passing traffic,
particularly buses, had forced it on to the footpaths and
Staff from all stores along that section of the street could
be seen mopping out their stores.
Most stock appeared high enough to remain dry.
Max assistant manager Anna Wilson said it happened quickly
and there was little they could do to stop it.
''We saw it rising on the other side and I said to the girls,
'Go and get towels', but by the time they got back, it was in
Wall Street manager Regan Bennett said sandbags had been
deployed at the St Andrew St entrance, but water still poured
Enviro Clean and Restoration was called to help dry six Wall
Street premises, including a children's wear shop, a shoe
shop, a music shop, the mall manager's office and a large
Cafe LOL owner Paul Martin, whose premises experienced only
minor problems, believed more regular removal of leaves from
nearby street drains could help them cope better with such
Dunedin City Council roading engineer Peter Standring said
the flooding was the result of the intensity of the rain over
a short period.
It was not feasible to build a pipe network able to cover
just a few extreme weather events a year, he said.
The council would investigate problems at the corner of St
Andrew and George Sts.
''It has highlighted some areas that need a closer look.''
Contractors were clearing leaves and drains throughout the
city and monitoring slumping on Otago Peninsula roads.