Queenstown flood clean-up

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Council officials will begin tidying up flood-prepped downtown Queenstown on Saturday morning. 

Mayor Clive Geddes says Queenstown Lakes District Council staff will be sweeping roads and footpaths and generally tidying downtown. 

“Businesses will be given the option to keep sandbags outside their premises, otherwise, we will relocate them to storage points at Earnslaw Park and the Memorial Gates.” 

The resort’s reserves and parks near Queenstown Bay got a decent soaking during the past week as Lake Wakatipu threatened to spill into the CBD. 

Sandbags litter shop fronts and huge concrete blocks and 900 millimetre pipes remain in place along the waterfront to counter wave action. 

Despite heavy rain on Friday, Lake Wakatipu remains 10cm below the flood level. 

“But with light rainfall forecast over the next few days and potential heavy rain next week, the Otago Regional Council and QLDC would continue to be in a state of preparedness,” Geddes says. 

Meanwhile, one of the businesses most affected by the mini-flood has found a silver lining. 

Patagonia Chocolates, which has been closed since lunchtime last Wednesday and behind Skyline Enterprises’ barricade since last Thursday, is now giving itself a full makeover pending reopening hopefully tomorrow. 

The business in the Thomas’s Hotel building had originally planned a small upgrade, duty manager TK Caro says. 

Staff, who’d otherwise not be working, are now painting the premises. New furniture has also been ordered and kitchen sewerage pipes are being changed. 

“It’s for the better,” Caro, 22, says. 

He understands Skyline will allow a small break in the barricade to allow customers in from tomorrow. 

The Otago Regional Council’s latest reading puts Lake Wakatipu at 311.09 metres above sea level – almost 30 centimetres higher than the first flood warning trigger of 310.8m.

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