Sandbags now available in Wanaka, Queenstown, Kingston and Glenorchy

Dec 05, 2019

Here's the latest updates from QLDC

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is implementing further precautionary measures in Wānaka, Queenstown, Glenorchy and Kingston.

The lake levels continue to reflect the Otago Regional Council (ORC) modelling with Wānaka now steady and Lake Wakatipu expected to peak at predicted levels by Sunday. Both lakes are expected to peak well below the 1999 flood levels. The ORC has confirmed that rain has eased in the headwaters and the long term (10 day) forecast does not contain significant rainfall.

Despite the more optimistic outlook sandbags are now available for all four locations. Council would like to acknowledge those who have volunteered to assist with sandbagging.

A decision has also been taken to shut down the sewer connection to a handful of premises on Ardmore Street, Wānaka. This temporary measure has been done to mitigate the potential for sewage to enter the lake. Those retailers affected have been advised.

The section of Ardmore Street between McDougall Street and Lakeside Road remains closed, and a 30 km/h speed limit has been expanded to cover the whole Wānaka CBD.

Staff and contractors are continuing to assess the potential effect on stormwater and wastewater networks in high risk areas. 

QLDC recommends anyone concerned about being prepared for a flood or other emergency situation refer to Otago Civil Defence and emergency management resources. 

Boaties warned to stay off the water.

"Although rainfall at the Otago headwaters overnight was again lower than forecast, swollen rivers are running fast, lake levels remain high and strong winds add further risk for anyone considering taking to the water.

If anyone is thinking of heading out in a boat, kayak or other vessel, the advice from Harbour Master Marty Black is to change your plans.

“We recommend everyone stays off the rivers, in particular the Mata-Au Clutha River which is at High-Level Alert. We are continuing to monitor the flow rates and if necessary will explicitly prohibit any activity on these waterways, such as the Clutha and Kawarau,” Mr Black said.

Further advice is to avoid any boating activity on the lakes, and the jetties at the Lake Wānaka have been closed. There is significant risk due to the possibility of floating debris and submerged structures."

Mr Black has also requested that owners of kayaks and small craft located anywhere on the Wānaka and Wakatipu lakefronts retrieve these as soon as possible, whether or not they are tethered.

For details of lake levels and river flows, the best advice is to refer to the Otago Regional Council website, which now includes a dedicated page for the Clutha catchment area.

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