Trouble to come? Otago faces another deluge after flooding

Councils are keeping a close eye on river levels around Balclutha, with more rain on the way for the sodden south.

The fast-flowing Clutha River is running at its highest levels in almost 20 years, and flooded waterways on the Taieri Plains have consumed a number of farm paddocks.

Residents have been forced to move stock and property - including light planes - to higher ground. Now many Otago farmers face a long wait, as it'll take at least 10 days for the waters to recede.

Tuesday's deluge also left the township of Henley isolated, with all three access roads closed due to flooding.

That prompted Henley farmer James Adam to jump in a tractor with a few of his neighbours to check out their properties on the hill.

"We've got a few pet lambs down there in the woolshed that we put in there for night, and we had to go and feed them," he says.

Around Balclutha, the Otago Regional has been assessing the situation from the air, using a heli-gauging system.

"We've got a lot of road closures, we had a few voluntary evacuations from houses," says Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan.

Council staff even installed a barrier along the railway line, to help protect the township from flooding.

"We're very pleased that the rain stopped when it did," explained council chairman Stephen Woodhead.

"If we'd had another two, three, or four hours more rain, we would have had a significant event."

The Dunedin City Council says floodwaters throughout Dunedin are continuing to slowly recede, but warns Department of Conservation staff and contractors are continuing to monitor the situation.

Residents are now keeping a cautious eye on the sky as that wet weather returns.