The small Otago town of Roxburgh is without power and water after a brutal flash flood yesterday. More than 50mm of rain fell in 30 minutes, forcing the civil defence to evacuate people from their homes.
Boulders and debris caused by slips remain on the roads, and State Highway 8 has been closed. Roxburgh School has been declared closed while the town recovers.
Tim Cadogan, Central Otago mayor said the flooding had caused “one hell of a mess.” He told Radio New Zealand that “I simply cannot believe the amount of rock and debris that’s come down.”
One of the issues facing the town was water supply, Cadogan said. “The reservoir has emptied fairly catastrophically so it does appear a major pipe has been taken out by the flooding. The Roxburgh township water is out, and in Lake Roxburgh village we would like people to conserve their water.”
Cadogan said he did not know how long it would take to fix. “We’ve got the gear here to fix it and the people here to fix it but we can’t tell … how long that’s going to take,” he said. “It’s going to be hopefully fixed today but I can’t make any promises on that one.”
Describing the severity of the flooding, Cadogen said: “one person’s garage the silt’s right the way through and it also went through the house.” He also spoke of another resident who said water inside their house had reached 3 meters at one point.