Rainfall easing in Otago, but some rivers still rising

Rainfall is easing in Otago, but some roads remain closed in the South this afternoon as heavy weather continues to lash the country.

Snow has been falling on the Crown Range Road, and while it is open, warnings were issued by police after a spate of crashes yesterday.

There was also a dusting of snow on the Lindis Pass (State Highway 8) this morning.

Snow on the Crown Range Road shortly after midday on Friday. Photo: MetService
Snow on the Crown Range Road shortly after midday on Friday. Photo: MetService

In an update this afternoon the Otago Regional Council said rainfall was easing across the region, but warned some rivers were still on the rise following rainfall yesterday and overnight.

Natural hazards manager Ben Mackey said Its flood managers were continuing to monitor levels closely and as of just before 2pm  the Manuherikia, Clutha and Taieri rivers were still rising.

"While the overall outlook is good, with no significant flooding expected based on current forecasts, caution should nonetheless be taken – especially around rivers and lakes that are still rising.

"Falling rivers can rise quickly again even with a little rain."

All southern highways are open, but there is a flood warning for the junction of State Highway 1 and SH90 at McNab, near Gore. Due to surface flooding there is a temporary speed restriction of 30kmh in place and road users are advised to take extra care.

The NZ Transport Agency says the weather has caused multiple rock falls and surface flooding throughout Otago and it urges motorists to reduce speed and drive to the conditions.

The Central Otago District Council advises that Dansey’s Pass Road (from the reserve to the boundary) is closed due to snow/ice, and the following closures are due to flooding:

Beattie Rd at the St Bathans Downs Rd; St Bathans Downs Road at the SH85 end across the bridge; Auripo Rd between Thurlow and Boundary Rds; Id Valley Omakau Rd (from SH85, Omakau to Swindon St, Ophir); and Mt Buster Rd. 

There were isolated patches of flooding on many other roads, and caution was advised across the network.

Further north, the NZTA has flooding warnings in place for State Highway 83 from Otematata to Pukeuri, and SH82, Waimate to Kurow.  

The Clutha District Council says that all West Otago roads that were closed overnight due to flooding are now open.

 

 

 

 

 

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