Rain but no pain

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Rainfall in Queenstown is expected to cause a slight rise in the dangerously swollen Lake Wakatipu. 

Otago Regional Council forecasts predict a worst-case downpour of 40 millimetres of rain today, pushing the lake to just below Saturday’s peak of 311.48m above sea level. 

Earlier this morning it had dropped 10.8cm below that peak. 

Queenstown mayor Clive Geddes says it’s important to remember the lake is affected by rainfall in the entire catchment, not just overhead. 

“At this stage we have rain falling in Queenstown. While that may be a little unnerving for the business community, the info we have is that the lake will not rise significantly.” 

Most of the estimated 35 retailers, who secured their premises against potential floodwater on Friday, have re-opened. 

The resort and outlying townships of Kingston and Glenorchy have been on flood watch since last Wednesday when the lake shot above the first trigger level of 310.8m. 

“We intend to ensure that retailers in Queenstown Bay and residents of Kingston and Glenorchy have the information they need to make decisions in respect to homes and premises,” Mr Geddes says.

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