Invercargill City Council is encouraging people not to travel unless necessary due to multiple road closures and ongoing hazards in the region.
While the period of heavy rain has ceased, several roads in the region have been closed for flooding, rising rivers and debris.
West Plains Rd where it crosses the Oreti Rver has been closed, as well as State Highway 99, east of Wallacetown, and SH6 at the Makarewa River. There is no alternate route from Invercargill to Winton, unless travelling through Mataura.
Road users are being advised to check https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/regions/southland for closures before heading out.
As of midday, the Waihōpai River at the Waihōpai Dam was on high river watch at 3.11 metres above normal and rising 47mm/hr.
There are also flood warnings in place for several rivers in the Invercargill district, including the Oreti River, which is 3.94 metres above normal at Wallacetown. These can be monitored here https://www.es.govt.nz/environment/flood-warning.
A state of emergency is still in place for the Southland region.
Group Manager Infrastructure Erin Moogan said Invercargill City Council staff had been assessing flooding in the city overnight.
“The heavy rain may have stopped but there are still some hazards around the region that people should be aware of.”
There is still some surface flooding throughout Invercargill and Bluff, and some areas where there could be potential contamination, she said.
“Those out and about today should be careful when travelling and remember not to enter floodwater for any reason.”
There is still ponding on low-lying areas of Turnbull Thomson Park at Lindisfarne St. It is still in need of cleaning up, which unfortunately cannot happen until some water subsides. Council asks that members of the public do not cross the cordon into these areas as there could be contamination.
“Floodwaters can be dangerous for a number of reasons, and we ask that members of the public keep away for their own safety.
“We also ask that everyone drive to the conditions, follow traffic signs and use common sense while out on the roads,” Moogan said.
Clean-ups were happening in Ōtātara, including Grant Rd, which was still impacted by stormwater.
“There is a lot of water that needs to be cleared and we are working through this as quickly and safely as possible.
“Staff are working with Emergency Management Southland to monitor the flows for the Ōreti River, which is predicted to peak early this evening. We’re keeping a close watch on the impact of this peak coinciding with the high tide, however the fact that the rain in the city has now stopped has given us some good freeboard in this area.
“There are no further weather warnings in place for Southland and Council staff are working hard to keep our community safe and limit any damage.”
Emergency Management Southland are continuing to update on the situation.
For the latest updates, check the following sites:
Invercargill City Council Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InvercargillCityCouncil
Emergency Management Southland Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdsouthland
Emergency Management Southland: https://cdsouthland.nz/
Environment Southland Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/environmentsouthland
Environment Southland: https://www.es.govt.nz/
Environment Southland flood warnings: https://www.es.govt.nz/environment/flood-warning
Southland District Council Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/southlanddistrictcouncil
State Highway updates: https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/highway-conditions/