8 May 2011

Flooding, slips as rain hits South Island

5:05 pm on 8 May 2011

Heavy rainfall has caused flooding in and around Dunedin and brought down slips onto roads on Otago Peninsula and in Central Otago.

An officer at St Kilda fire station in Dunedin, Pete Douglas, says rainwater cascaded down hillsides on the peninsula and into the basements of at least six houses in Macandrew Bay.

Portabello Road was closed between Camp St and Doon St by slips on Sunday morning. Police said people can get to and from the peninsula through Highcliff.

Police said another slip was threatening a house on the western side of the harbour in Burkes Drive near St Leonards.

Some houses in south Dunedin had also been flooded, the Fire Service said.

State Highway 6 between Kingston and Queenstown in Central Otago was down to one lane because of a large rockfall.

Police say water had also built up on other roads, around Oamaru and northern Southland, and drivers should be careful.

Widespread flooding unlikely

The Otago Regional Council says it is not expecting any widespread flooding after heavy rain overnight triggered early warning alerts in the Manuherikia, Pomahaka and Taieri Rivers.

River levels are still rising but the council says the Taieri River is expected to peak at about 8pm on Sunday and should not burst its banks.

Rising river levels have slowed down on the Pomahaka.

The Manuherikia should peak early on Monday morning but isn't expected to cause any problems.

The Otago Regional Council says it is continuing to monitor the situation.

The rain has also triggered slips throughout the province.