Shotover Jet's boats were back on the water yesterday after
an ''unfortunate'' start to the new year, with operations
suspended for more than two days.
Marketing manager Nigel Kerr told the Otago Daily
Times yesterday afternoon the heavy rain, which began on
New Year's Eve, was unrelenting and caused the Shotover River
to rise quickly.
''When it rains like that, the river comes up and ... it's
just diabolically wet and bumpy.''
Mr Kerr said on New Year's Day the river was assessed and
found to be in flood so the decision was made to suspend the
operation until the river dropped.
The Otago Regional Council river and rainfall information
showed the Shotover River at Bowens Peak peaked about
180cumecs on Wednesday.
Mr Kerr said overnight snow on Wednesday was a blessing for
the company as it stopped some of the rain entering the
''There probably would have been [debris] but that's not
really the issue ... we just had so much water going through
... it's decidedly uncomfortable [and] it's not fun.''
The river was reassessed yesterday morning, with the first
trip for the new year on the water at 1pm and fully booked
''It's been an unfortunate start to the new year, but
hopefully that's all behind us now.''
KJet, formerly Kawarau Jet, and Thunder Jet, both of which
operate on the Kawarau River, remained fully operational
despite the rain.
A Dart River Jet Safaris spokeswoman said the company also
suspended operations on Tuesday because of the heavy rain -
causing the Dart River to rise from its usual 200cumecs to
The spokeswoman said trips were also cancelled on Wednesday
morning, but the operation resumed on Wednesday afternoon and
it was now business as usual.
Meanwhile, the ORC has posted high-level alerts for the
Clutha River below the Cardrona confluence and the Clutha
River at Balclutha, both of which had passed their first
flood warnings yesterday.
The Clutha River below the Cardrona confluence was running at
605cumecs by 4pm yesterday, having peaked at more than
The first flood warning for the river was 600cumecs.
The Clutha River at Balclutha was running at 1246cumecs
yesterday, above its first flood warning of 1140cumecs. The
river downstream of the Roxburgh dam peaked at 1100cumecs on
Wednesday night and at 5pm yesterday was still 970cumecs,
480cumecs above its mean flow.