More rain in headwaters predicted

It is hoped Otago will escape the latest heavy rain warning without further flooding.

MetService issued a severe weather warning yesterday for 80mm to 120mm of spillover rain in the Otago and Canterbury headwaters today and tomorrow.

''Even rivers and streams in the east of the island, where there may be little rain, are also likely to respond to heavy rain falling in the headwaters.''

The latest forecast comes on top of heavy rain in the divide in the past week. Gauges at Dragonfly and Cascade Hut recorded 194.5mm and 156.5mm respectively.

Otago Regional Council information and science director John Threlfall said as long as the rain fell in the headwaters, eastern waterways would be able to cope.

Lakes Wanaka, Wakatipu and Hawea were all at normal levels for this time of year. Some would spill into rivers such as the Clutha, which would continue to run high through the weekend as water was let through the dams.

''At the moment it is not a concern.''

However, if the rain fell in the Pomahaka or Taieri catchments, the regional council would adjust its warnings.

Those rivers were still high from snow melt. Metservice was also predicting high northwest winds, with gusts of up to 120kmh, from Southland to Canterbury today.

On Monday, a strong southwest change was predicted to drop temperatures back into single figures and bring more rain and snow to eastern areas, although it was too early to determine how much or where, Metservice said.



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