Heavy rain forecast - lakes reach flood levels

by Peter Newport - Dec 06, 2019

Heavy rain is forecast for both Wanaka and Queenstown today, with lake levels sitting at or near the official flood levels.

Many Wanaka businesses along the lake front had to close yesterday due to a sewer system shut-down by QLDC and Queenstown businesses are heavily sandbagged ready for the lake to rise further over the next 2 - 3 days.

Wanaka's lakefront businesses have been disrupted by high water levels as well as council having to shut off sewage systems. Image: Joe Murdie - The Film Crew.

30 - 40 mm of rain is forecast to fall in Wanaka today with the lake level officially passing its flood level of 280 metres above sea level at 6.00 am this morning, reaching 280.004 metres above seal level.

Contractors have been clearing trees and other debris from the Wanaka lake front area.

Drone footage from Wanaka videographer Pedro Pimentel highlights the extent of the lake's rising level.


Queenstown's rainfall could be lower at 10 - 15 mm but at 6.00 am this morning the lake level has reached 311.190 metres above sea level - just short of the 311.300 flood level.

Many lakefront stores in Queenstown are ready for rising water levels - others appear to be leaving it until the last minute.

Three sandbagging collection points have been set up by QLDC in the Queenstown CBD in Beach Street, Rees Street and at the upper end of Church Street.

One of the three QLDC sandbagging collection points in Queenstown - this one is Rees Street

The high levels of water leaving Lakes Wanaka and Wakatipu have disrupted water treatment plants further down stream forcing Alexandra and Roxburgh residents to stop using the mains water supply and instead rely on water tankers or boiling their own water before use.

Residents using a fresh water tanker in Alexandra - CODC.


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