Tonnes of driftwood to be cleared in lakes clean-up

As the level of Lake Wanaka drops, dozens of hectares of driftwood are being revealed along Roys...
As the level of Lake Wanaka drops, dozens of hectares of driftwood are being revealed along Roys Bay. Photos: Mark Price

The clean-up continues in Wanaka and Queenstown after heavy rain and floods in the past few days.

A press release from the Queenstown Lakes District Council this morning said the council was continuing to remove tonnes of driftwood from both CBD foreshores as a priority.

Although lake levels have fallen, rain is due later in the week.

The QLDC is planning an enhanced removal programme for the end of the week but will confirm this once the latest MetService forecasts have been assessed tomorrow morning. Business owners may wish to consider delaying clearing sandbags until that time, the statement said.

Business owners who do wish to dispose of sandbags should return these to the original collection points in Wānaka, Queenstown, Kingston and Glenorchy.

With surface water reducing, QLDC will be reopening parts of Ardmore and Helwick Sts this morning. Ardmore St will remain closed from the Helwick St intersection through to Meadowstone.

Lakefront carparks will remain closed while debris continues to be removed. 

The Glenorchy-Paradise Road was also expected to reopen around midday. 

This afternoon Queenstown Lakes District Council said contractors have restored all sewer services to properties in the Wanaka CBD.

"Services were temporarily isolated from lakefront properties in order to prevent wastewater entering the lake. This aim was achieved thanks to the timely, precautionary measures by QLDC’s contractors Veolia.

"Clean up operations are continuing in Wanaka and Queenstown CBD’s. Public toilets remain closed in all affected and high-risk areas, and portaloos will remain in place until further notice."

Public toilets remain closed in all affected and high-risk areas, and portaloos will remain in place until further notice.

The QLDC Parks teams are also watching lake levels before they can provide any timings for the reopening of the Queenstown lakefront playground and the Wānaka Dinosaur Park. Once water has receded they can evaluate what is required to get the playgrounds up and running as soon as possible, such as replacement fall protection as the safety of children using the facilities remains paramount.

Tracks and trails throughout the district also remain closed, also for the safety of track users, whilst the Parks team evaluates any washouts and potential risks.

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