One more rise then the sun shines

Published online: Jan 08, 2011 News www.odt.co.nz
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Sunny days are ahead for those in the sodden Southern Lakes district, although one last rainfall in the lakes' headwaters is expected to raise lake levels yet again.

About 50mm to 60mm fell in the headwaters of Lake Wanaka yesterday and the Otago Regional Council predicted it would again rise, exceeding its first alarm level of 279.4m in the early hours of today.

Council duty flood officer Phillip Purves said it was not expected to rise high enough to cause flooding in the township but the council would monitor the situation overnight.

"We're fairly confident we are not looking at flooding."

Much less rain had fallen in the headwaters of Lake Wakatipu, so its level was not expected to increase significantly from its 2pm yesterday level of 310.864m, which was just above its first alert of 310.800m, he said.

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Tourism operator David Pattison brings his Wanaka Adventures launch in to berth behind the submerged Roys Bay marina boat ramp yesterday.
Tourism operator David Pattison brings his Wanaka Adventures launch in to berth behind the submerged Roys Bay marina boat ramp yesterday.
MetService forecaster Andy Downes said the low that brought the wet, humid weather to Otago moved quickly southeast so the rain eased off late in the afternoon.

"The worst is over."

Wanaka and Queenstown townships received only about 10mm to 12mm from the front, compared to 84mm at Franz Joseph and 62mm at Mt Cook.

Dunedin received 4mm.

The "good news" was that while a quick southerly change today would cool temperatures, ease the humidity and bring a few showers, a high was building that was expected to bring settled weather through to the middle of next week, he said.

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Packing up their tent site at the Albert Town Camping Ground yesterday are (from left) James Wallace (10), Russleigh Whitaker and Allan Sorrell, all of Dunedin.
Packing up their tent site at the Albert Town Camping Ground yesterday are (from left) James Wallace (10), Russleigh Whitaker and Allan Sorrell, all of Dunedin.
"This will allow the rivers and lakes to recede."

Queenstown Lakes District Council communications officer Jo Blick said monitoring staff had liaised with retailers in Wanaka and it was unlikely any would be affected by flooding.

Queenstown Lakes deputy mayor Lyal Cocks, who is also Wanaka's chief Civil Defence co-ordinator, said he was watching lake levels closely.

Rainfall, which was steady throughout yesterday, was not as heavy as predicted, he said.

Lake Wanaka was starting to rise late yesterday afternoon, recording 279.185m at 3pm, beneath its first flood alert level of 279.40m.

The Clutha River was draining out of Lake Wanaka at 654.204 cumecs at 2pm yesterday, above its first flood alert level of 600 cumecs, at the confluence with the Cardrona River, near Albert Town.

Read more at
http://www.odt.co.nz/regions/otago/143440/one-more-rise-then-sun-shines

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