Rainfall has been widespread over Otago with most of the region receiving 30mm to 85mm of rain in the last 24 hours. As a result many rivers are high and rising, with several coastal and South Otago rivers reaching flood warning levels.
The Kakanui River at Clifton Falls has peaked at 155 cubic metres a second and is falling after receiving more than 50mm of rain in the last 24 hours. The Leith has peaked at 36 cumecs and is falling after receiving more than 84mm of rain in the last 24 hours. The Pomahaka River is at 110 cumecs and rising, having passed its first flood warning level of 86 cumecs. ORC expects the Pomahaka to continue rising and exceed its second warning level of 183 cumecs this afternoon.
The Shag River catchment has also received 46mm of rain in the last 24 hours with the Shag River expected to exceed its flood warning level of 31 cumecs this afternoon.
Metservice has predicted an additional 50mm of rain to 11pm tonight, with intensities of between 10mm and 15mm. This will cause most rivers in Otago not already at flood warning levels to reach them, particularly the Manuherikia and Taieri Rivers.
If rainfall reaches these predicted levels, coastal catchments that are currently falling such as the Leith, Waianakarua, and Kakanui could rise rapidly again.
Council urges people with stock or other assets near rivers to be vigilant over the next 24-48 hours.
River level and rainfall information can be checked on the ORC water info webpage www.orc.govt.nz/waterinfo or by phoning 0800 426 463.