The November 1999 Queenstown floods and Frankton landslide, New Zealand

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Becker, J.S.; Richardson, V. 2000 The November 1999 Queenstown floods and Frankton landslide, New Zealand. Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences science report 2000/12 24 p.

Abstract: The largest flood recorded in Queenstown in historical times, occurred in November 1999. This flood was caused by a stationary front situated over the Southern part of the South Island bringing heavy rain to the area. In addition, the rain caused problems in Frankton by reactivating the Frankton landslide and moving two significant areas of land in the vicinity of Frankton Road and Towne Place. The Central Business District area in Queenstown was worst affected by the flooding, with some businesses still inundated up to two weeks after the waters had peaked. Once the floodwaters had receded, the task of cleaning up the contaminated mud left behind began. Some businesses were still out of operation and continuing refurbishment as this report was being collated in April 2000. Over thirty houses were affected by movement on the Frankton landslide were evacuated and residents were allowed back intermittently as residences were considered safe for habitation. In all, five houses were deemed unsafe and were condemned. The Queenstown community was active both in response to the initial flood warnings issued, and in the recovery period afterwards. Volunteers helped sandbag around the sides of Lake Wakatipu as the floodwaters rose, and helped clean up the Central Business District as the waters receded. Likewise, volunteers (for example, the Ruapehu 1995-1996 eruptions) gave assistance to residents whose homes were affected by the Frankton landslide. (auth)