Media advisory: Flooding in Southland/Fiordland

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Route open from Invercargill to Dunedin

Southland is no longer isolated with an access route between Invercargill and Dunedin open for light traffic.

While several roads around Mataura remain closed, an available route can be accessed from SH1 north of Edendale for light vehicles only. Follow Pioneer Highway to Brydone-Glencoe Road and then Te Tipua School Road to Te Tipua before turning left onto Waimumu Road and taking it through to Gore. Travelers can then connect with SH1 from Gore to Dunedin.

This detour is not available for heavy traffic, in particular HPMV.

News of the route opening will be met with relief after flooding throughout the region left many stranded, including motorcyclists venturing south for the annual Burt Munro Challenge and southerners attending the Elton John concert in Dunedin last night.

Police advise motorists to proceed with caution and not travel unless it is necessary. Roads will be monitored and could potentially close again if the conditions change.

Creative thinking lessens impact on Wyndham

Some creative thinking by engineers in the early 1980s may have helped lessen the impact on Wyndham and other rural settlements along the flooded Mataura River today.

Peaks downstream from Mataura had been predicted to peak at 2740 cumecs at Wyndham at 3.20pm today, equating to roughly 4.2 metres above the river’s normal level, and 1.8 metres above the level of the 2.4-metre floodbanks.

However, in reality the peak flow never rose higher than the floodbanks, rising to 2370 cumecs and 3.9m above normal at 2.50pm.

Cumecs recorded at other sites on the Mataura River were 2500 at Gore at 12.50pm and 2774 at Mataura at 1.20pm.

We believe the peaks have gone past but a full assessment of the river and surrounding areas needs to be completed in the morning. Residents need to stay safe where they are until alerted by Emergency Mangement Southland tomorrow that the cordon has been lifted.

Local marae to assist those stranded

Local marae have opened their doors to people misplaced by the Southland floodwaters.

Murihiku Marae and Nga Hauewha Marae are providing emergency shelter and food for anyone who needs a place to stay.

Numerous roads throughout the Southland region remain closed.

Motorists heading south to Invercargill from Queenstown are advised to remain in Winton as SH6 at Makarewa Junction is closed due to flooding. The Presbyterian Church is open for shelter, information and tea/coffee. 

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