Flood fears prompt evacuations in North Dunedin

Dunedin Civil Protection Emergency Management are evacuating a small number of residents of North Dunedin near the Water of Leith tonight.

Dunedin City Council said this afternoon that Campus Watch is knocking on the door of affected homes between Montgomery Ave and Leith St (Central) to warn residents of possible flooding.

In an update just before 7.30pm, CDEM said it was working with the New Zealand Police and Fire Service to evacuate residents from about 35 properties as a precaution. Evacuated residents have been advised to stay with friends or family members who live in higher elevations if possible.

An evacuation center has been opened at Dunedin North Intermediate School on North Road for anyone needing accommodation. By 10pm, a small number of people had reported to the center seeking shelter or assistance.

In an 10 p.m. update, a DCC spokesman said neither Lindsay Creek nor the Water of Leith were injured. However, a further 30-50mm of rain was expected to accumulate before 10am tomorrow on top of what has already fallen in Dunedin so the situation could change quickly.

The Dunedin Emergency Operations Center would remain manned overnight, ready to respond to any problems that arose.

The spokesman said CDEM is also keeping a close eye on Lindsay Creek in the North East Valley. Several patients had been evacuated from Otago Community Hospice to Mercy Hospital as a precaution.

Sandbags were available from The Valley Project next to North East Valley School and in the Victoria Rd car park next to the Dunedin Ice Stadium in South Dunedin and in Mosgiel in the Memorial Park car park.

Meanwhile, Emergency Management Otago has previously asked people to be aware of water levels in their area overnight, particularly in areas more prone to flooding as heavy rains continue.

A slow-moving front moved south across the South Island today and is expected to continue overnight into late Wednesday morning when rain is expected to ease.

Emergency Management Otago Group Controller Matt Alley asked people to check their community websites, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Facebook pages for updates.

“Residents should continue to follow advice on cooking or conserving water and ensure their budget, emergency supplies including stored water and escape kits are prepared.

“We are monitoring the situation across Otago very closely and stand ready to escalate if necessary,” he said.

According to emergency management, areas that are more vulnerable include:

• SH1 is likely to close north of Maheno on the Kakanui River and north of Hampden on Big Kuri Creek. Due to high tides and motorists, traveling north is discouraged unless absolutely necessary.
• Mosgiel specifically near the Silver Stream Spillway on Gordon Rd
• Parish of Henley on the Taieri
• Leith St, particularly between the foot and road bridges on the left bank of the Water of the Leith
• Lindsay Creek, near the hospice on North Road
• Milton, due to runoff from the surrounding hills around Milton
• SH1 at Waikouaiti
• Parts of South Dunedin, for example around Bathgate Park

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