Media advisory: Flooding in Southland/Fiordland Piopiotahi

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Date

Gore and Mataura residents to prepare for evacuation

This is an official message from Emergency Management Southland

Modelling data suggests flood levels in the Mataura catchment are likely to reach similar levels to the 1999 floods. Two peaks are expected to pass through Gore tomorrow (Wednesday) - the first at 5.00am and the second at approximately 12.30pm.

Existing stop banks have been designed to hold this volume of water. Additional precautions and support, like sandbagging, are being put in place in some areas and residents are being asked to be ready to evacuate if required.

People should prepare a grab bag containing medication, clothing and person items, including documents.

Residents should have the necessary equipment for pets ready too – leash, cage, food. Confine pets now, if they feel threatened they may hide and be difficult to find when you need to leave.

If you have friends and family outside the potential flood area you can go to, please make those arrangements now. For those needing somewhere to stay, we have set up a welfare centre at the Calvin Community Church in Robertson Street in Gore. Further information about a welfare centre in Mataura will be advised in the morning.

Residents will be advised by Council and emergency staff once it is confirmed they need to evacuate but the more prepared they are the better.

All schools in the Gore district have been closed for tomorrow.

Roads remain closed throughout the region and there is surface flooding on many of those that are still open. Please take care and check the NZTA and local council websites for closures.

Emergency Management Southland controller Angus McKay said people should avoid unnecessary travel, check on their neighbours and follow the Civil Defence Southland facebook page and website for updates.

Those who have travelled out of the region for events need to be prepared to stay put or check road conditions before setting out. Extreme care is required on all roads.

Farmers in low lying areas should consider moving stock and paying extra attention to their effluent storage.

Lumsden and Riversdale residents are advised to reduce toilet flushing as the pumps are under significant pressure from the extra water.

Trampers in huts in Fiordland have now been evacuated, the remaining 195 tourists in Milford will be evacuated tomorrow morning, weather permitting.

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