Dunedin’s Mayor Dave Cull is calling for people to stay home unless it is absolutely essential and asking people who aren’t affected to please allow their services to get on and prioritise things.
Over 200 properties have been evacuated across Otago overnight, with the majority being in the Dunedin City and its rural communities. All state highways across the region are closed and there are numerous local road closures. With the access to the Otago Peninsula cut off by several major slips.
Complicating matters, power has been lost to a number of areas due to the current weather with Aurora energy working to restore power to the affected areas as soon as possible.
Minister for Civil Defence Nathan Guy says that they (Civil Defence) are now dealing with local state of emergencies for Christchurch City, Timaru, and the Otago region all who are dealing with a severe rainfall event.
He says, whilst the worst of the weather has subsided they will be dealing with the aftermath for days to come. The expected king tide will not help matters with the flood waters predicted to take longer to recede.
The Minister is in Dunedin to offer central government support along with the army who are on the ground and the New Zealand Air Force who are on standby if required.
The minister has urged anyone who has concerns to contact the council and to heed the advice of officials.
“It would appear that the worst of the deluge has passed but that doesn’t mean the emergency is over," says Mayor Cull.
Metservice forecasts have rain easing by early afternoon and clearing overnight.
Dunedin regional council can be contacted on 03 477 4000