Dunedin and North Otago residents are being warned to prepare
for another round of heavy rain - this time with snow - that
threatens the lower South Island.
The MetService issued a severe weather warning yesterday,
predicting between 80mm and 120mm of rain in the area by
The heaviest falls were expected about the coastal hills and
ranges of North Otago, where rainfall rates of 10mm to 15mm
per hour were likely this afternoon.
The rain was also expected to turn to snow over higher parts
of Otago last night and early this morning, with
accumulations of 20cm possible above 1000m.
That could result in snow lying on the highest parts of
Milford Rd and the Lindis Pass.
The forecast prompted a warning from the Waitaki District
Council to North Otago farmers, who were urged to move stock
ahead of the arrival of the bad weather.
Waitaki District Council emergency services manager Chris
Raine said that after heavy rains over Easter, the ground was
still saturated and would not be able to absorb rainfall,
which could result in significant runoff.
The Otago Regional Council was also advising farmers to move
stock to higher ground.
''It's a really fatal situation of saturated ground,'' Mr
Rivers were expected to rise rapidly, particularly the Shag,
Big Kuri, Waianakurua and Kakanui rivers, and surface
flooding was expected to be similar to that over Easter
weekend, making some roads impassable, he said.
''The general public should be aware that driving conditions
could be hazardous,'' he said.
''People need to be ready and make sure they are stocked up
with food and supplies with the possibility of power cuts.''
North Otago Civil Defence was due to meet last night to
prepare for the wild weather.