NZDF on standby in Dunedin as south hit by more rain, floods


Heavy rain warnings have been lifted across Northland and Coromandel but the South Island is now of concern.

Swollen creek spills onto farmland near Temuka Video


Part of the South Island are once again being hit by rain and flooding. (Video supplied by Khan Adam) (Source: Supplied)

Heavy rain and wind that wreaked havoc in the north on Monday has moved south.

Torrential rain is falling on the South Island’s east coast, with flooding expected across Canterbury.

There are heavy rain watches and warnings in force for the Tasman District, Marlborough, Canterbury, North Otago and Dunedin.

Flooding in parts of Christchurch as heavy rain hits Video


Reporter Digby Werthmuller has this update at midday on Tuesday, July 26. (Source: 1News)

Rivers are running high in areas already saturated by last week’s heavy rain and flooding is likely in places, including the Ashburton District.

People in Otago have been urged to stay away from rapidly rising rivers and streams in the area and to prepare for high flows amid forecasts of up to 130mm of rain in North Otago and 90mms in Dunedin, Emergency Management Otago said.

Residents have also been reminded to keep away from low lying flood prone areas, particularly the Water of Leith, Lindsay Creek, Silver Stream and Henley sites.

In Christchurch, there is surface flooding around the Heathcote and Avon rivers. Eleven schools and five early childhood centres have closed due to flooding, while another preschool is shut due to road closures.

Rain record

Christchurch has now officially set a new July rainfall record, according to MetService.

The station at Christchurch Airport has so far recorded 228mm of rainfall, beating the previous wettest July which saw 180.8mm of rainfall in 1977.

“It is also the first time since the station started recording that the monthly rainfall has exceeded 200mm making it the wettest month recorded there,” MetService said.

There is also surface flooding on paddocks around Thompsons Track, an inland loop linking Rakaia, Methven and Ashburton.

There are a number of road closures, including State Highway 1 at Seddon in Marlborough.

In Dunedin, Portobello Rd is likely closed until tomorrow due to rockfall. The Dunedin Emergency Operations Centre has been activated as a precaution.

Rockfall on Dunedin's Portobello Rd
Rockfall on Dunedin’s Portobello Rd (Source: 1News)

The Waitaki District and Dunedin City Councils have since activated their Emergency Operations Centres.

The New Zealand Defence Force are on standby to provide support if needed, Emergency Management Otago has confirmed.

“We continue to monitor the rainfall across the region and watch for any impacts that this may have. The ground is really saturated following the last few weeks of wet weather and we may see slips, surface flooding by the end of the day,” Emergency Management Otago group manager Matt Alley said.

More moisture will approach in from the north west as we move through the week, MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris told RNZ’s Morning Report.

Places that flooded last week are of concern today, he said.

READ MORE: Flooding forces closure of part of SH1 in Marlborough

Residents are reminded to check their Council websites and Facebook pages for local roading updates and boil or conserve water notices.

Minister responds

Civil Defence Minister Kieran McAnulty said he had spoken to all the mayors in affected regions and they “all seem very relaxed”.

“It’s either in control or being monitored, one isolated community down south but they’ve got all the gear they need,” he said.

“Couple of closed roads in Timaru area but the mayor was quite happy.”

“Most of the areas are as good as gold and those that are little bit worried, they know if they need help they’ll get it from NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) but at this stage there has been no intervention at all.”


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