Flooding closes part of SH1 north of Dunedin

Source: 1News

People who had to leave their homes in Dunedin on Tuesday night due to the risk of flooding can now return but some main roads in Otago are closed on Wednesday following a bout of heavy rain.

Flooding on State Highway 1 at Creek Hampden in North Otago.

Flooding has forced the closure of State Highway 1 between Dunedin and Palmerston and SH1 at Waimate between Galletlys and Lower Hook roads.

More than 20 roads are closed across the Waitaki District.

MetService has extended the heavy rain warning until 3pm on Wednesday with North Otago and Dunedin expecting a further 15mm to 20mm of rain.

Multiple schools in Dunedin are closed.

Thirty-six properties near the Water of Leith in Dunedin were evacuated as a precaution on Tuesday night due to heavy rain.

There was no major flooding overnight, however Dunedin Civil Defence Emergency Management are continuing to "keep an eye" on streams and rivers including the Water of Leith, the Lindsay Creek, the Waikouaiti River and the Taieri River.

An evacuation centre was set up at Dunedin North Intermediate School yesterday but only a small number of people needed support.

Leith Street being reopened on Wednesday morning.

Leith Street has now reopened after closing overnight.

Police Senior Sergeant Jared Kirk said "most of the people were pretty compliant".

"There were a couple of flats that didn't want to move and a couple that didn't answer the door ... but most people were pretty understanding of the situation, it's in their best interests and we just want to keep everyone safe at the end of the day."

Those who had to leave their homes in North Dunedin are now able to return home.

Dunedin City Council said in a statement on Wednesday morning that the weather has created "a number of hazards across the region", with crews working overnight responding to surface flooding and slips.

"Our crews will be shifting into the recovery phase and checking for damage and any issues caused by the rain."

"The worst of the weather appears to be over with the rain easing overnight."

Rockfall on Dunedin's Portobello Road on Tuesday

Dunedin mayor Aaron Hawkins told Breakfast rivers that were most concern last night "have dropped".

He said the evacuations were a precautionary measure and that "we're not out of the woods yet but we certainly seem to have dodged a bullet overnight".

"It certainly pays to be careful if people are moving out and about, particularly before light, and... there are a number of roads closed so do check the council's website or the Waka Kotahi website to see where those are."

"There will be issues with minor slips and surface flooding in some parts of the city."