Residents in the Southland towm of Wyndham are being told to evacuate their homes amid rising river levels.
Residents in Mataura are bracing themselves as the Mataura River approaches its highest level at 10.30am.
People have also been told to get to higher ground in Gore, where the main bridge over the river has been closed.
River levels there peaked at 8.30 this morning and are expected to stay high for 12 hours.
Three days of heavy rain has caused the Mataura River to run up to 6 metres above normal levels.
RNZ reporter in Gore is Tim Brown.