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Amazing video shot by the Otago Daily Times from the air has shown the extent of flooding in Gore as the Mataura River runs at the highest level many locals have seen.
Low-lying residents have been evacuated, bridges and roads closed and Gore has been left isolated.
Inspector Jon Bisset, speaking from Mataura, said he had never seen the river run so high.
"I grew up in Southland and I’ve never seen the river like that."
The river was expected to peak at 2450 cumecs at Gore before 9.20am, and at Mataura with 2665 cumecs at 11.50am.