Locals and tourists travelling up the Waitaki River are being treated to some spectacular water views as Meridian Energy spills excess flows over dams and weirs.
Waitaki District Council emergency officer rural fire and civil defence, Steve Couper, said there is still a lot of water to come down from the high country and people camping near lake edges are being advised to move to higher ground.
"Over the past three days, more than 500mm of rain has fallen in the catchment of the Waitaki River and this rain has been absorbed by the alpine lakes," Mr Couper said.
"Meridian Energy is now spilling water from Lakes Pukaki and Ohau into the Waitaki hydro lakes.
"People camping near the lake edges are warned that lake and river levels will rise over the next few days and they should move their tents and caravans to higher ground."
Mr Couper said Meridian Energy is also spilling water over Benmore Dam.
"The river flow down the lower Waitaki River will increase to about 850 cumecs per second," he said.
"People who are in the lower Waitaki River should watch for rising river levels."
Meridian Energy spokeswoman Michelle Brooker said spill flows vary depending on the location.
"Spill flows of 155 cumecs per second at Lake Ohau and 342 cumecs per second at the Lake Pukaki spillway, are both caused by high lake levels," she said.
"The Lake Benmore spillway flow, which varies between 300 cumecs and 800 cumecs per second; the Aviemore spillway at 355 cumecs per second and, the Waitaki station weir at 90 cumecs per second, are all caused by high catchment inflow levels."
After the wet days which welcomed in the new year, Oamaru looks set for some settled weather during the next few days although westerlies are Campers warned to seek high ground in spills
The pump station has been turned off due to the poor quality water at the intake on the watercourse ...
Oscar Smit, Waitaki District Council
likely to return at the weekend.
MetService chief forecaster Peter Kreft said the weather throughout New Zealand is likely to be warm everywhere, and hot in the east of both islands.
"Afternoon temperatures are expected to be around the 30 degree mark and possibly higher on Saturday and in some places, again on Sunday," he said.
Adding to the mixed bag of weather in the past few days, North Otago residents woke yesterday morning to see a fresh fall of snow on the ranges.
Motorists trapped by a heavy snow fall on Wednesday were rescued from Lindis Pass and snow also fell in parts of South Canterbury and Central Otago. Oamaru also featured in the MetService statistics which record the hottest, coldest, wettest and windiest places in New Zealand.
On Wednesday, Hastings led the race for the hottest place with 29C, while Oamaru ranked 27th with 21.4C.
Oamaru was in third position as the coldest place in New Zealand with 6.6C but the coldest was Wanaka Airport with 4.4C.
For the wettest place in New Zealand on Wednesday, Oamaru was ranked seventh with 22.6mm, but well behind Westport Airport with 78.4mm.
Wellington was the windiest place in New Zealand with a gust of 124km/h recorded, against Oamaru in 17th place, with a gust of 52km/h.
Latest weather updates are available on the MetService website: www.metservice.com.
Waitaki District Council (WDC) has also issued a conserve water notice for consumers in Hampden/Moeraki and the Kauru Hill areas.
WDC assets engineer-water- wastewater manager Oscar Smit said customers on these water supply schemes are advised to conserve water for the next four days.
"The pump station has been turned off due to the poor quality water at the intake on the watercourse as a result of recent rainfall," he said.
"The council apologies for any inconvenience and thanks customers for their patience over this period."
Additional information is available on the council website: www.waitaki.govt.nz.