Flood watchers will remain on standby in Southland throughout tonight.
Over 150 millimetres of rain has fallen in some of Southland’s inland areas since midday yesterday. Streams are already overflowing, roads and schools closed and rain has also cut the fibre-optic communications link with Te Anau.
Southland District Council engineering manager Peter Thompson says more rain is forecast.
“I think the extent of the flooding is a lot more widespread than we’re used to. Typically it’s more localised, but what we’re seeing here is a more wide effect of this heavy rainfall we’re having.”
Environment Southland expects the Oreti River’s flood peak to pass through Winton tonight and reach Wallacetown, just upstream of Invercargill, around 8 am tomorrow.
The heaviest falls are expected between Otira and George Sound, where up to 350 millimetres is possible in some places. MetService says this rain will come on top of significant amounts which have already fallen during the last two days, and will cause streams and rivers to rise even further.