The Southland Times
November 24, 1999

Resort Businesses Remain Wet
Sue Fea

Lake Waksatipu flood levels had dropped by 18cm yesterday but it will be at least another week before the waters recede from the Queenstown business area.

Queenstown Lakes District Council assets planner Ken Gousmett said the time frame would only be realised if there was no more rain.

The lake peaked at 6pm on Thursday and had dropped 180mm since Thursday morning.

The cost of damage in the resort is estimated to be at least $15 million.

Most of an estimated 80 flooded Queenstown businesses are still under water and the perimeter was cordoned off yesterday by tape reading "Danger - keep out."

Signs were erected warning people not to enter the now reeking, contaminated floodwaters.

Nine of the 22 extra police brought in from Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill to help in the crisis were still in Queenstown last night.

Flood-affected business owners and retailers will be briefed at the Memorial Hall at 10am today.

A council statement said the talks would cover the clean-up process and steps to ensure the town's businesses were back to normal in a safe manner as soon as possible.

Residents throughout the district were still being warned to boil water last night.

Mr Gousmett said the council was concerned about its sewer pipeline between Queenstown and Frankton, which was threatened by the Frankton Road slip.

It was still working yesterday and contingency plans were in place to bypass the pipeline if necessary, Mr Gousmett said.