Clean-up continues, roads reopen

The rain and flooding brought tonnes of driftwood to the lakeshore at Wanaka township. Photo:...
The rain and flooding brought tonnes of driftwood to the lakeshore at Wanaka township. Photo: Mark Price
The clean-up is continuing in Wanaka and Queenstown after the heavy rain and surface flooding at the weekend.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) said this afternoon the lake levels have continued to recede, and earlier today Wakatipu was sitting at 311.13m and Wānaka at 279.75m. 

QLDC General Manager Property & Infrastructure Peter Hansby said this had enabled clean-up efforts to continue across the district and particularly in the Wānaka CBD.

Mr Hansby said the focus was very much shifting into recovery mode.

“A number of roads, including Kinloch and Glenorchy-Paradise Roads, are now open. Except for the block from Dungarvon Street to McDougall Street, Ardmore Street in Wānaka is now open. The Wānaka CBD is fully open. Mt Aspiring Road will be open to the unsealed section of road outside Aspiring Helicopters, about 1km past Treble Cone, later today.” 

“The latest forecasts suggest that lake levels could be back up to today’s levels by Monday and we’re sitting at half a metre above high lake levels. So we’re not actively removing all of the sandbags just yet as a precautionary measure. However, if property owners wish to clear their entrances they can return their sandbags to the collection points.”

He said the council was "very grateful" for the many offers from volunteers to help with the clean-up. However, as there were currently contractors at work, it was asking the community not to undertake any clean-ups in areas where they were operating.

He said conditions would be reassessed in coming days and it was hoped all public toilets would be reopened by the end of the week.

Because of saturated ground, some amenities would remain closed, including the lakeside carparking in Wānaka between the Mt Aspiring Rd carpark and the Dinosaur Park, the Dinosaur Park itself, and tracks and trails throughout the district. These areas will be reassessed on Friday.

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