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Water level drops, but sandbags remain with threat of more rain in Wanaka

Sandbags are still lining the streets of Wanaka's CBD, with its main road still blocked off completely, in the aftermath of last week's flooding.

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Queenstown-Lakes District Council deputy mayor Calum MacLeod gave an update on the flooding Source: 1 NEWS

Today, sun brought some hope to the Otago town with water levels dropping by five centimetres - equivalent to nine billion litres of water.

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Queenstown-Lakes District Council deputy mayor Calum MacLeod told 1 NEWS the water will go down faster than it goes up.

"The modelling suggests that we've peaked and we're on our way back," he said.

"The predictions for the next few days, they're being constantly updated. There is a bit of a storm forecast for the weekend but it's more rain and showers as opposed to the heavy rain warning."

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Torrential rains have hit the region over the last few days. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr MacLeod said it would take 19 days without rain to get the lake back to its normal level.

"Christmas time, Wanaka will be a beautiful place, the sun will be shining, God will be back in her heaven and all will be right with the world."

While some businesses are removing sandbags, they'll be keeping them on hold for in case of more flooding. 

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Lake levels are rising faster than predicted, as heavy rain in the region shows no sign of letting up. Source: 1 NEWS

Wanaka's main lakefront road, Ardmore Street, remains closed.

Kai Whakapai's Roger North was optimistic about the drop in water levels.

"We think we've dodged a bullet," he told 1 NEWS. "It feels fantastic to see the water receding."

However he said they were "still in risky territory" with snow expected to melt.