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Major problems from South Island rain – full coverage

Forty-two people have been evacuated from a central Otago campground, after a slip ploughed into the building they were sleeping in.

No one was injured in the incident at the Berwick Forest campground in the early hours of this morning.

Dunedin Senior Sergeant Brian Benn says the building shifted about six metres, wiping out cars parked nearby.

“The building has hit some of the vehicles as the building moved. I believe there’s four vehicles involved”.

Camp warden Jenny Scott was woken by fire alarms. She says all the campers got out of the building in plenty of time.

“The people that were there told me that there had been a landslide and I looked up with the torches going and could see part of the building heading for the road”.

Jenny Scott says a third of the building has been completely wrecked.

And Dunedin Civil Defence is warning Mosgiel residents to be aware of sewage on some flooded roads.

Persistent overnight rain has caused landslides, rising rivers and flooding across Otago. Dozens of roads are now closed and drivers are being urged to delay their trips.

Civil Defence chief Neil Brown says floodwaters are contaminated by sewage backflow, particularly around Mosgiel. He says roads have been barricaded off to stop people joyriding. The joyriders stir up the water and cause waves that carry sewage on to people’s properties.

TrustPower is closely monitoring water levels at Lake Mahinerangi. People connected to the West Taieri Water Scheme and the Waikouaiti supply are being urged to conserve treated water.

And flood controllers are on high alert in Otago with heavy rain continuing to soak the region.

MetService earlier expected between 30 to 40 millimetres in eastern parts up until 2pm.

Otago Regional Council Flood Control Officer Martin King says a flood warning has been issued for those living near river catchments in Mosgiel and Dunedin.

He says the Silver Stream has already risen sharply and is expected to overflow, which will mean extended flooding.

Dunedin City Council’s Civil Defence has been alerted.

After nearly a week of heavy rain, Civil Defence officials in the Waitaki District are now dealing with landslips.

Spokeswoman Rowan Carroll says three houses were evacuated after a large slip in Aln Street in Oamaru last night. She says there has also been other slumping in the township and some rural residents are now running out of water.

Tankers are on hand to supply drinking water at Herbert Garage, Papakaio Hall and Palmerston Whitestone Yard.



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