Challenge Wanaka run leg director Terry Davis demonstrates
the depth of flood water on course along the Outlet Track
next to the Clutha River. Photo by Mark Price.
Weather woes continue for Wanaka and Queenstown's already
high waterways. More rain is expected today and heavy rain is
forecast for the weekend.
While Otago Regional Council flood managers maintain there is
unlikely to be any major flooding in the resort towns, the
Challenge Wanaka long-distance triathlon event on Saturday
could be disrupted if MetService's bad weather predictions
Lake Wanaka has dropped about 25cm since it peaked last
Friday and Dunedin-based Rain Effects hydrologist David
Stewart said the small amount of rain forecast for today
would simply ''slow the rate of fall''. However, ORC flood
manager Jean-Luc Payan expected high water levels to be
maintained or rise slightly.
Another front arriving at the weekend was expected to bring
more significant rainfall, but both men said it was too early
to say how that would affect lake and river levels.
Mr Stewart said the impact of the predicted 12-hour ''heavy
burst'' of rain on Saturday depended on whether the front
sped up or slowed down. Invariably, the timing shown in a wet
weather system forecast several days out from the event would
change, he said.
If it sped up, lake levels and Challenge Wanaka could be
High lake levels have left the event's run leg director Terry
Davis guessing about the 42.2km route.
The preferred course, along the Outlet Track next to the
Clutha River, was still flooded in places yesterday but Mr
Davis was not yet ruling out the possibility it could be used
The decision to use the track or move to an alternative would
be made on Friday, he said.
''If the water level doesn't go down, or if it does go down
and the track is unrunnable, then we will move to an
Mr Davis said something similar happened before the Challenge
two years ago but the water dropped enough to allow repairs
to be made.
''By Saturday, it was a brand new track.
''It was beautiful.
''So we are kind of hoping that is going to eventuate