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Henley a focus for authorities as weekend rain approaches

Locals in the flooded Otago town of Henley are bracing for another dose of heavy rain this weekend.

The area remains cut off after the rain earlier in the week which brought widespread flooding and swollen rivers, and MetService is forecasting more to come - the heaviest of it tomorrow.

Work is under way to clear culverts, drains and driveway crossings in the South Otago town but a proper cleanup is yet to begin as hundreds of hectares of land and roads are still under water.

A welfare co-ordinator at the Dunedin City Council, Simon Pickford, said the authorities were monitoring river levels.

"We will kick into action if we need, step up from the monitoring mode into active monitoring in our civil defence bunker and then obviously if it turns worse then it will be a declared emergency but we've got a long way to go before then so we're obviously hoping for the best but planning for the worst."

Simon Pickford said residents were happy to stay put, but civil defence staff will advise them if they need to evacuate.

Otago Regional Council's science, hazard and engineering director, Gavin Palmer, said Henley had flooded seven times in the past 14 years, most recently in July last year.

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