New Zealand – Houses Damaged After Storm Dumps Flooding Rain in Central Otago

A slow moving storm that began around 15:00 on Sunday 26 November caused flash flooding in the small town of Roxburgh in the Central Otago District of New Zealand.

Local media said 42.2 mm of rain fell in just a few hours. The downpours were highly localised and some neighbouring areas saw little to no rain at all.

Quoting MetService meteorologist Peter Little, Stuff NZ said that 22.6 mm of rain fell in 1 hour at Roxburgh Aerodrome to 17:00, while a private station recorded about 30mm in the half hour between 15:30 and 16:00.

Photos of the flooding from Central Otago District Council showed how the flood water had raced down the surrounding hills and cut through residential areas as it headed towards the Clutha River.  Several streets in Roxburgh were rendered impassable and police advised people to stay off the roads.

Power supply was cut in the town during the flooding, although has since been restored. Around 12 houses were damaged and the local school closed. Drinking water and wastewater supply has been disrupted and is only expected to be fully operation again on Wednesday at the earliest.

Some minor surface flooding has also been reported in the nearby towns of Clyde and Alexandra.

Central Otago District Council said in a statement earlier today that “repairs are currently underway in Roxburgh following the flash flood event least night. Fresh Water tankers and portaloos have been put in place for residents to use until such time as full services are reinstated. Phone systems are almost back to normal, however this may change without notice.

“Council’s building inspectors have undertaken an initial assessment of evacuated properties and vulnerable residents are being assisted based on their needs.”

Met Service have advised that there is a risk of more thunderstorms and the council has asked residents to be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

Flooded areas of Roxburgh, New Zealand, November 2017. Photo: Central Otago District Council / Facebook
Flood clean up operations begin in Roxburgh, New Zealand. Photo: Central Otago District Council / Facebook

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Flood Summary

Last updated: November 27, 2017
Event
New Zealand, November 2017
Date
November 26 to November 27, 2017
Type
Flash flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Roxburgh
B - Clyde
C - Alexandra

Magnitude

Rainfall level
42.2 mm in 24 hours
Roxburgh - November 26 to November 26, 2017

Damages

Buildings damaged
12 buildings
Roxburgh - November 26 to November 27, 2017

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