Extreme Weather in New Zealand on February 01 2018 05:08 AM (UTC).
A Civil Defence State of Emergency was declared this afternoon and is still in place. Residents have been warned that they should treat all stormwater as contaminated, with rising floodwaters threatening the city. Mayor Dave Cull said the "catalyst" to the state of emergency being declared on Thursday afternoon was flood water entering the city's wastewater system. Staff alongside other agencies had been actively monitoring the situation, with the amount of water falling too much for the system to handle. Police are visiting properties affected by wastewater overflows around South Dunedin to let people know that an evacuation center is available at the Caledonian Gym, Andersons Bay Road. Residents should treat all stormwater as contaminated, and there was at least one confirmed discharge on Surrey St, in South Dunedin. It was too early to say if the flooding risk was comparable to the floods of 2015. The army had been advised of the situation, but had not evacuated anyone. Two evacuation centers had been established, in Dunedin and Mosgiel, as a precaution. And Otago Peninsula and West Harbour residents have been advised to consider heading home and schools in low-lying areas are closing. Stormwater was affecting city roads, with motorists advised to keep their speed down and avoid unnecessary travel. Cull had a simple message for rubber-neckers - "stay away". Reports are coming in of a rest home - evacuated during the 2015 south Dunedin floods - may be evacuated again. The Radius Fulton rest home is oen of the city's lood-prone low lying suburbs and concerns are mounting over rising surface flooding around the property. Meanwhile business owners along King Edward St - one of the retail areas hit hard by previous flooding - have sandbagged their properties. Flooding threatening homes has also been reported in Mosgiel, with pumps at work in the area. A Civil Defence briefing concerning Dunedin is to be held at 3.30pm. ?The council has asked people to avoid travel in affected areas, particularly South Dunedin. "Anyone who needs to drive through streets with surface flooding should slow down to reduce the amount of floodwater washed into property or businesses" The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Fehi were lashing the country on Thursday, with some places in the west of the South Island recording rainfall rates of 18-20 millimeters an hour. A lot of rain has also been spilling over into Southland, Otago and South Canterbury. At 1.40pm the council issued an advisory on its Facebook page, telling residents to consider heading home early.