Lake’s highs and lows

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Queenstown mayor Clive Geddes says he won’t relax until a swollen Lake Wakatipu drops almost a metre. 

The lake sat at 310.845 metres above sea level yesterday – 70cm below last Saturday’s peak. 

“The lake is still above 310.8 which is the trigger level that there may be a flood. I’ll be much happier when it gets down to 310 as that gives us genuine capacity against a major rain event,” Geddes says. 

Queentown Lakes District Council has spent $64,395.26 so far on flood preparation and it’s estimated affected businesses will have collectively suffered hundreds of thousands in expenses and lost income. 

Skyline Enterprises property manager Bob Dennison isn’t taking any risks, leaving most of its metre-high flood barrier in place around lakefront buildings. 

“We have taken some of it down. There may be a mad dash to put it up again.” 

MetService forecaster John Tunster predicts a heavy burst of rain today.