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Is Queentown going to be spared?

Lake Wakatipu has not risen as much as expected, but Queenstown officials say the town is still not out of the woods.

Mayor Clive Geddes says residents are still in a state of preparedness, though he expects the lake level may only rise a further 10 or 20 centimetres above the current level.

The weather outlook is good and it will remain up to lakefront retailers, as to whether they open for business.

Mr Geddes says it may take 7 to 10 days for the lake levels to recede.

However says more heavy rain is on the way for the catchment areas on Monday.

Sandbags line the front of around 35 businesses at risk.

Mayor Clive Geddes says the lake level has risen slowly but steadily overnight.

Flooding outside the Novatel Hotel.  Photo / Simon Williams

The lake is rising at over 1cm an hour.

Officials in Queenstown are now certain Lake Wakatipu will flood the public space on the town’s foreshore and probably two CBD streets.

The resort’s had a 12 hour respite from the rain, but it started to fall again at around 5 this morning for a while, temporariliy worrying those with a flood risk.

See several other photos here.

Coffee drinkers sit and wait….and wait…   Photo / Simon Williams

– with


Businesses prepare for the worst.  Photo / Simon Williams

Are you in Queenstown?   How are conditions where you are?

Have photos of the lake or flooding in the area?  Upload them easily by clicking here.



Denver Lee, Manager for Positive Image Kodak Express on 29/04/2010 9:05pm

At this stage there is no CBD flooding and all appears to be calm. However levels are still above the flood risk zone and although the rain has stopped I would expect levels to still progressively rise over the course of today. One of the important factors that historically contributes to flood is the level difference of Frankton and Wakatipu. If the water levels at Frankton match or become greater than that of the Wakatipu then it means there is no out flow into the Kawaru. Thankfully at this stage there is still a positive difference between the two so although the Wakatipu is high there is not too much panic. In fact the local feeling is that the threat is on its way out, and so I imagine many businesses will start to consider putting things back to normal.

Fortunately this has occurred in our quietest season so therefore we have had the time to prepare for this eventuality. Also great practice for if and when it does occur next time!

pete chch on 29/04/2010 12:51pm

any update on this story? is the lake in the town yet?

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