Flood-prone lake dropping


Queenstown’s flood-prone and dangerously high Lake Wakatipu has begun a “clear and consistent trend downwards”, according to officials. 

By 9am this morning the lake dropped 4.6cm from its peak reached at 10am on Saturday, Otago Regional Council’s environmental engineering and natural hazards director Gavin Palmer says. 

That peak hit 311.48 metres above sea level, almost 70cm higher than the first flood warning trigger. 

Council engineering officials will continue to monitor the forecast and lake which is still at a flood-prone level, he says. 

Both ORC and Queenstown Lakes District Council plan to stay in a state of ‘preparedness’ until the lake drops below the warning level. 

“We are working on understanding when that may be but it is likely to be at least a week if not longer,” Palmer says. 

Significant ponding remains on the foreshores of Queenstown Bay, and outlying townships of Kingston and Glenorchy. 

Many downtown Queenstown businesses in the danger zone that had bailed and moved stock to higher ground, have either resumed trading or are busy getting back up and running.

for more Queenstown flood news.