Weather: Wanaka stores remain closed as town braces for flooding to get worse

Businesses along Wanaka's Lakefront are bracing themselves as locals watch floodwaters rise around them.

Stores remain closed just weeks out from Christmas and the Insurance Council of New Zealand is urging people to protect their properties.

Wanaka's lakefront has completely disappeared - on Friday night reaching near-record levels.

The rain keeps falling in the mountains - causing the lake levels to rise.

"This will be our third flood since we've been here," local businessman Richard Liddell told Newshub.

Building owners and retailers are frantically trying to protect property against the rising floodwaters.

It's now not if the water gets in, but when

Downstream, Alexandra and Roxburgh residents are having to boil their water and in Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu also keeps rising. 

With more rainfall forecast during the weekend, residents are doing their best to clear the debris, and minimise damage.