The Dunedin City Council (DCC) has activated its Emergency Operations Centre and encouraged residents in low-lying areas to make plans to get out of their homes if forecast heavy rain causes flooding.

Council civil defence controller Ruth Stokes said measures were being put in place ahead of anticipated flooding expected in the city later today and overnight.

Stokes said the most up-to-date severe weather warning issued by the MetService this morning forecast periods of heavy rain until early Thursday.

In the 27 hours from 9am today to midday Thursday, 100mm to 120mm was forecast to accumulate on top of what has already fallen, with maximum rainfall rates of 15mm an hour.

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The volume and intensity of the rain forecast was expected to cause flooding issues throughout the city, particularly in low-lying areas in South Dunedin, Kaikorai Valley and Mosgiel. There were also likely to be issues in areas of North Dunedin.

Stokes said the heaviest rain was expected in the early hours overnight from about midnight to 2am.

"We are, therefore, encouraging residents in those low-lying areas who feel concerned to make plans now to self-evacuate themselves to stay with friends or family who live on higher ground if required.

"People should check on neighbours, particularly if they are vulnerable.

"We are also looking to set up evacuation/welfare centres for anyone who potentially needs somewhere to stay tonight and/or more information.''

More information about those would be made available once locations were confirmed.

The EOC was activated at 11am today to monitor rainfall and provide a co-ordinated response. Personnel from key agencies were working together to co-ordinate the response and use resources efficiently.

A state of emergency had not been declared at this stage, and there were no major issues related to heavy rain.

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Teams would be out today working to clear debris from mud tank grates and gutters to allow water to flow.

A couple of minor slips on Portobello Rd were cleared this morning.

The stormwater system was currently working well, screens were clear and all pumps were available.

Rubbish collection was running as normal this morning, but the CBD's rubbish collection was cancelled for Wednesday night. Residents were told bins and bags should not be left out overnight tonight.

"We will assess the situation in the morning, but at this stage we are planning to collect rubbish and recycling as normal. If your street is flooded in the morning please do not put your bins and bags out.''

All freedom camping area sites were closed until further notice. Campers are advised to find alternative an accommodation site tonight.

People could prepare by:

• Checking spoutings and drainage channels for blockages and clear them if necessary.

• If your basement is prone to flooding, lift items that could be damaged by water off the floor.

• Be sure garden sprays and other chemicals won't be affected.

• Checking grates near your house for blockages and keep them clear of leaves and other debris to avoid water building up and affecting your property.

The public could keep up to date through the DCC website, DCC social media, radio and other media.