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Wanaka braces for potential flooding with heavy rain forecast in Otago, West Coast

Parts of the South Island remain on high alert today as more heavy rain is forecast for today and the weekend.

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Emergency crews are on standby in case Lakes Wanaka and Wakatipu flood. Source: 1 NEWS

Residents in Central Otago are preparing for the worst though, with measures put in place in case of more flooding.

Queenstown-Lakes District Council has put precautionary measures in place in preparation for more expected flooding, including keeping a 30km/h speed limit in Wanaka's CBD which. Wanaka's main lakefront road, Ardmore Street, is closed however.

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The Clyde Dam is spilling twice as much water as usual in an effort to ease pressure on upstream waterways in Central otago. Source: 1 NEWS

Businesses owners in Wanaka have also been asked to shut down their sewer systems temporarily. The council asked people to either close their businesses or restrict access to buildings to stop the possibility of sewerage flowing into the lake.

Wanaka has also received thousands of sandbags for the past few days to help with flooding, but now Queenstown, Glenorchy and Kingston are also under the weather watch as well. Those areas also have sandbags in place to prevent flooding.

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Roads were empty following yesterday’s heavy rain. Source: 1 NEWS

The West Coast is also on high alert with a heavy rain watch. State Highway 6 at Knight's Point is closed due to a fallen tree.

MetService has issued a heavy rain warning in Westland, from Otira southwards, the headwaters of Canterbury lakes and rivers around the Rakaia River, the headwaters of Otago lakes and rivers, and Fiordland from Doubtful Sound northwards. There's also a strong wind warning in place for Canterbury high country.

There's a heavy rain watch in Buller and Westland north of Otira and the headwaters of Canterbury lakes and rivers north of Rakaia River; and a strong wind watch for Marlborough and Otago, excluding Clutha.