Lake Wanaka's Lady Pembroke houseboat returns to shore
yesterday but is unable to berth at the submerged Roys Bay
boat ramp marina in the foreground. Photos by Matthew
Sunny days are ahead for those in the sodden Southern
Lakes district, although one last rainfall in the lakes'
headwaters is expected to raise lake levels yet again.
About 50mm to 60mm fell in the headwaters of Lake Wanaka
yesterday and the Otago Regional Council predicted it would
again rise, exceeding its first alarm level of 279.4m in the
early hours of today.
Council duty flood officer Phillip Purves said it was not
expected to rise high enough to cause flooding in the
township but the council would monitor the situation
"We're fairly confident we are not looking at flooding."
Much less rain had fallen in the headwaters of Lake Wakatipu,
so its level was not expected to increase significantly from
its 2pm yesterday level of 310.864m, which was just above its
first alert of 310.800m, he said.
Tourism operator David Pattison brings his Wanaka
Adventures launch in to berth behind the submerged Roys Bay
marina boat ramp yesterday.
MetService forecaster Andy Downes said the low that
brought the wet, humid weather to Otago moved quickly southeast
so the rain eased off late in the afternoon.
"The worst is over."
Wanaka and Queenstown townships received only about 10mm to
12mm from the front, compared to 84mm at Franz Joseph and
62mm at Mt Cook.
Dunedin received 4mm.
The "good news" was that while a quick southerly change today
would cool temperatures, ease the humidity and bring a few
showers, a high was building that was expected to bring
settled weather through to the middle of next week, he said.
Packing up their tent site at the Albert Town Camping
Ground yesterday are (from left) James Wallace (10),
Russleigh Whitaker and Allan Sorrell, all of Dunedin.
"This will allow the rivers and lakes to recede."
Queenstown Lakes District Council communications officer Jo
Blick said monitoring staff had liaised with retailers in
Wanaka and it was unlikely any would be affected by flooding.
Queenstown Lakes deputy mayor Lyal Cocks, who is also
Wanaka's chief Civil Defence co-ordinator, said he was
watching lake levels closely.
Rainfall, which was steady throughout yesterday, was not as
heavy as predicted, he said.
Lake Wanaka was starting to rise late yesterday afternoon,
recording 279.185m at 3pm, beneath its first flood alert
level of 279.40m.
The Clutha River was draining out of Lake Wanaka at 654.204
cumecs at 2pm yesterday, above its first flood alert level of
600 cumecs, at the confluence with the Cardrona River, near
At Balclutha, the river was dropping slightly, recording
1209.037 cumecs at 2pm, but still above its first alert of
Mr Purves said that as the rain fell throughout the Clutha
catchment it would not be until today that its impact on the
river could be assessed.
Washouts and erosion caused by heavy rain and high lake
levels had closed three walking tracks, Queenstown Lakes
District Council parks manager Gordon Bailey said yesterday.
He said the Glendhu Bay track beside Lake Wanaka, the Wanaka
Outlet track and the Kelvin Peninsula walkway at Queenstown
would be closed for at least two weeks.