Slips and flooding as heavy rain hits - cold winds sweeping up from Antarctic

Lisa McKewen

Flooding in Centre Valley, Marlborough

Heavy rain hitting the centre of the country provided a rude awakening for one man as his house bus took on water.

The overnight deluge led to flooding, slips and crashes around the top of the South Island.

Have you been affected by the heavy rain? Send your newstips, photos and videos to newstips@stuff.co.nz

State Highway 6 is down to one lane between Renwick and Havelock in Marlborough.
RICKY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ

State Highway 6 is down to one lane between Renwick and Havelock in Marlborough.

Now, more bad weather is on the way, with MetService warning of significant snow accumulations above 400 metres, along with strong winds, in the lower South Island on Friday and Saturday.

"A cold front accompanied by bitter temperatures sweeps up from the Antarctic and after warming ever so slightly over the ocean, arrives in the South Island from tomorrow afternoon and the North Island during Saturday," forecaster Cam Coutts said.

Some towns nearer sea level could see a dusting of snow as the front went by. Snow could disrupt higher road passes in the South Island and possibly in the North Island high country later on Saturday.

Police monitor the ford on Old Renwick Rd near Blenheim.
RICKY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Police monitor the ford on Old Renwick Rd near Blenheim.

The strong flow is expected to bring with it big and powerful southwest swells around much of the country right through the weekend, although the coasts of eastern Northland and Auckland, and Bay of Plenty should be sheltered.

"Frost and ice will also become an issue right across the country as the wind and weather eases into Sunday and Monday and some places fall into negative temperatures overnight," Coutts said.

On Thursday, a Nelson man awoke to find himself in a rising river, as the house bus he was in took on water from the Wairoa River near Hope.

Flooding on SH6, south of Nelson.
SUPPLIED

Flooding on SH6, south of Nelson.

Senior Sergeant Blair Hall said the man attempted to drive out of danger, but soon became stuck.

Ad Feedback

"Due to the swiftness of the river, when emergency services got there they couldn't reach him," Hall said.

He said when they arrived the river was surround the house bus.

Debris and flooding at the ford on Old Renwick Road, near Blenheim.
SUPPLIED

Debris and flooding at the ford on Old Renwick Road, near Blenheim.

Coastguard dispatched a surf rescue team to attend, and rescuer Noah Hosie was sent in an inflatable rescue boat to reach the stranded man.

Hall said the man was uninjured, but it was a timely reminder that people camping near rivers need to keep an eye on both the forecast and predicted river levels.

"It's not the first time people have been caught out by rising rivers in that area."

Rain swells the Wairoa River at the Brightwater Bridge.
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

Rain swells the Wairoa River at the Brightwater Bridge.

HIT WATER, LOST CONTROL

Mussel farmer Matthew Bergman was driving to Havelock for work about 5am when he hit the flooding in Kaituna on SH6, northwest of Blenheim.

"Coming down off the hill by the Kaituna sawmill, there's a big massive puddle. I would have hit it at 100kmh, I couldn't see it because there's lots of trucks on the road at that time so you can't have your high beams on."

Flooding in Wairau Valley, Marlborough, sparked by heavy rain hitting the top of the South Island.
TED LAWS

Flooding in Wairau Valley, Marlborough, sparked by heavy rain hitting the top of the South Island.

Bergman lost control of the family car for a second but managed to get through the flooding without crashing, he said.

"It gave me a bit of a fright . . . Lucky I didn't crash, I can't afford to fix [the car]."

His coworker had the same experience shortly afterwards, he said.

Heavy rain hits the top of the South Island and Wellington in this MetService rain radar image from 7.13am on Thursday.
METSERVICE

Heavy rain hits the top of the South Island and Wellington in this MetService rain radar image from 7.13am on Thursday.

"There's quite a few little puddles along that road. It's quite a common spot for flooding.

"Maybe council should put some drainage in."

Bergman was given the day off as mussel harvesting was called off in the Marlborough Sounds due to the weather, he said.

SIGNIFICANT FLOODING

Two cars became stuck in surface flooding on SH6 at Kaituna early on Thursday morning.

Highway patrol team leader Sergeant Barrie Greenall said one car was towed from the water about 5.30am.

Half an hour later, a man had to be pulled from his car which became stuck in the water.

"It was passable, if they had been driving more carefully," Greenall said.

"There is standing water in many places in Marlborough, so when you drive through, keep your speed low."

Signs had since been placed at the flooded section to remind drivers to slow down.

"But it's difficult to get signage at all places because the water is so changeable," Greenall said.

A tree fell on SH63 west of the Wairau Valley township, blocking one lane, but the tree had since been cleared.

Many roads had damage from the water and drivers should be wary of potholes hidden under the water, Greenall said.

"Unexpected potholes can damage your tyres. State Highway 63 is the worst at the moment."

The only road closure at 10am was the Old Renwick Rd Ford, Greenall said,

The rain had eased by 10am but Greenall expected surface flooding to remain for a few hours.

"There's a lot of water coming down from the hills. I went up Wairau Valley early this morning and farmers were telling me they were getting 13 millimetres of rain an hour."

Police said there had been significant surface flooding, with multiple weather-related calls from 4.45am on Thursday.

Wairau Valley woman Lisa McKewen said there was plenty of water on State Highway 63.

"It was worse further up the valley where our house is, but nothing you can't drive through."

Tasman District Council Civic Defence spokesperson Chris Choat said there was surface flooding across the district, particularly at Waimea West Road, and drivers were urged to drive to the conditions.

However he said river levels were beginning to ease.

"Rivers have coped remarkably well and they are dropping back now as forecast," Choat said.

He said for short bursts overnight, several areas in Tasman had rainfall at 20-30 millimetres an hour, including Moutere at 8pm on Wednesday.

RESCUED FROM FLOODWATERS

On SH6 near Kaituna a vehicle became stuck in road surface flooding for a short time about 5.10am. The driver and car were helped to safety.

Another car had become stuck in flooding on Waimea West Road near Brightwater.

On Kohatu-Kawatiri Highway, Glenhope, a rock slip was blocking part of the road. 

While no roads in the regions were officially closed, the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) was watching the situation closely.

WARNING AS LOW DUMPS RAIN

According to MetService a low, mixed with moist tropical air, was sitting over all of central New Zealand on Thursday morning.

That system dropped 100mm to 150mm of rain in 24 hours over the hills above Nelson and Tasman, while 80mm to 100mm fell above Marlborough.

Lower-lying areas, where most people lived, experienced the heaviest rain in the early hours of Thursday, while rivers were already swollen from heavy rain in the ranges.

The entire low was expected to move east, off New Zealand, during Thursday but this would be followed by cold southerlies and frontal systems moving over the country.

This was expected to bring snow for parts of the South Island.

MetService had also issued a severe weather watch that warned northwest winds could rise to severe gale from Thursday morning until early afternoon in an area from south Taranaki across to Taihape, as well as Hawke's Bay.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Death after car, taxi crash

The crash in west Auckland killed one person, and left another critically injured.

One person's dead and another's critical after the early morning Auckland smash.

Truck leaves trail of destruction video

The truck came to a rest inside the store.

Runaway truck crosses four lanes, sends container into cars before crashing through store.

Akl luxury Metro Suites sells for $11m

Auckland's Metro Suites has been sold to Thai-owned hotel branded Avani Hotels and Resorts.

Metro Suites bought by Thai-owned Minor Hotels, as it expands its Avani brand.

Paralysed after farm accident

Kiranjit Singh and wife Beant. Kiranjit was left tetraplegic in a workplace accident after he was struck in the back of ...

Kiranjit Singh was always "hard-working and sporty". Now he's paralysed from the neck down. 

Wellington

Cyclists battling cones in their road

Chairman of Cycle Aware Wellington, Ron Beernink.

Road cones and work signs are appearing in bike lanes, putting cyclists in danger.

Asbestos washing case

Elva Halliday, now 84 and suffering from mesothelioma, is taking building products supplier James Hardie to court for ...

Widow says her cancer comes from washing husband's asbestos-riddled clothes.

New housing set to 'warp' Kapiti

The Ngarara subdivision beside Te Moana Rd, Waikanae Beach. The first stage, comprising 55 homes, could be finished by ...

Massive 850-lot development in Waikanae could be just the start, says mayor.

Measles case in Wellington

The measles virus is highly contagious and easily spread from one person to another through the air via sneezing or coughing.

Health officials say sick person may have spread illness before being diagnosed.

Canterbury

Ute hits van, car, building

A resident said the ute was traveling at speed before it hit a parked van before eventually ending up in the shrubbery.

The driver shunted a parked van into a car before ploughing through bushes and into an office.

Stadium monorail? video

A multi-use arena will include facilities such as exhibition and conference spaces, cafes, bars and a transport hub.

Christchurch has its first glimpse of what its new stadium could look like, complete with a monorail dream.

One dead after car hits house

One person has died after a car hit a house and Christchurch, and another is seriously injured.

A second person has serious injuries after being freed from the wreckage.

Danny's death haunts drink-driver

Danny Mathew Hendriks, 18, of Rakaia, died at the scene after the car hit him in Acton Rd on April 5, 2014.

They didn't know each other, but on a dark country road their fates tragically intersected. 

Waikato

Hard times after the flood

Ian Eggleton and the glamping site.

A couple's dream job is over in the aftermath of the Coromandel flooding.

Schools' vetting costs

Schools will be forced to sell sausages to raise the average fee of $600 to be paid to police for vetting staff.

Some schools say they're considering selling sausages just to raise enough money to keep their pupils safe from predators.

Med school progress

Waikato District Health Board chief executive Dr Nigel Murray said the Waikato med school bid is focused on improving ...

High-level talks continue on Waikato's bold med school bid.

Trump lacks mana video

President Donald Trump muscled himself to the front of the Nato pack during a photo opportunity in Brussels on Thursday, ...

People with real mana don't have to shove to the front - the crowd automatically parts for them.

Taranaki

A scene of destruction

26052017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ.   Moturoa School has been vandalised, damaging a fence, pool cover, toilet ...

Vandals caused thousands of dollars worth of damage and left a huge swastika in a primary school's playing field.

Easy ride for sheep video

A sheep leaps over the mud after her first ride along a portable sheep conveyor belt at Te Wera on Friday.

A sheep-shape conveyor saves ewe time and stress.

Ready for Wizards

Taranaki Thunder point guard Iritana Hohaia makes a pass.

The Taranaki Thunder are looking forward to a better level of competition this weekend.

The war on myrtle rust

Myrtle rust fungal spores found on plants such as pohutukawa, rata and manuka.

The battle against myrtle rust gets harder every day, but those in the thick of it remain confident of victory.

Manawatu

Pupils dazzle at Stage Challenge

Rangitikei College pupils perform at Stage Challenge in Palmerston North.

Hundreds of young performers dazzled at the Manawatu Stage Challenge.

Calls for change video

Manhar Patel, the owner of Summerhays Corner Superette, wants to see harsher penalties for robbers.

They fear retribution from robbers, but dairy owners say it's important to speak out.

More work in Manawatu Gorge

Higgins contractors work on a fallen section of road at the Manawatu Gorge.

A reopening date is unknown as contractors work hard to clear the road of debris.

Lions negotiate with KiwiRail

Walkers pause for food and drink during the Woodville Lions Manawatu Gorge Track & Tunnel walk.

KiwiRail killed off a popular Lions' fundraiser. But hope remains for a change of heart.

Nelson

What now for long-term resident?

Thomas Lay is being evicted from  Bridge Street Backpackers and is looking for a new place to live.

Thomas Lay is worried. A Nelson backpackers - his home of seven years - has been forced to sell up.

Muscle mum's big win

Hollie Pluck won the Bodybuilding Championships in Christchurch in her category as well as best in show.

Toned, tanned and ripped, one Nelson woman proves the fairer sex can multi-task.

NMIT boss resigns

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology CEO Tony Gray has resigned.

The chief executive of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology is leaving after 11 years in the role.

Boost for families

Low income families in Mapua eligible for the accommodation supplement could get an extra $145 a week following Budget ...

Low income households in Mapua among big Budget winners.

Marlborough

Mac is the man

Richard McNamara will be responsible for Tasman, Marlborough-Kaikoura, the West Coast, North Canterbury, Christchurch ...

Marlborough's rural fire boss Richard McNamara has landed one of the top jobs in the new amalgamated fire service.

Two suspicious fires

Blenheim Volunteer Fire Brigade crews responded to two suspicious fires on Thursday night.

Months on from a spate of suspicious fires in Blenheim, fire crews responded to two suspicious fires in one night.

Help for renters

Finance Minister Steven Joyce holds up a copy of Budget 2017, which includes the Family Incomes Package.

Budget reacts to "crazy" city rents in Blenheim, but will landlords follow suit?

Board that kicked the hornet's nest

The board is reconsidering moving district nurses to the health hub on Queen St, in the former FloorPride Civic Theatre ...

Angry mob warns health boss he'll get stung if he shifts district nurses away from hospital.

South Canterbury

Rural location no barrier video

Kate Ivey juggles her expanding business with caring for her three children and helping run the family farm.

Mother of three says living in the 'middle of nowhere' is no barrier to business success.

Guilty of manslaughter

Timaru Court.

Kooly Managki Te Tomo found guilty of the manslaughter of Arran Gairns.

Accommodation boost

Finance Minister Steven Joyce announced his first Budget on Thursday.

The Government has recognised parts of SC have become more expensive.

Pink promotes positive message

Timaru Christian School pupils dressed in pink to promote the anti-bullying message.

Timaru youths take stand against bullying and don colourful and creative clothing.

Southland

Your chance to cast a vote

Cyclist Eddie Dawkins.

Your chance to have your say for the 2016/2017 Southland Sports Awards.

Busman's holiday gets beached video

Jeff Leeden got his 1964 VAL Bedford bus, Chubby Cheeks, stuck in the sand on Oreti Beach.

Aussies thought they'd take their housebus for a jaunt on the sands. This was nearly its final stop.

Health professionals unhappy

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Ian Powell.

A medical union has accused the Government of "continued neglect" with its annual health budget announcement on Thursday.

Council's 'Gypsy Day' u-turn

Cows are moved, near Rakaia.

It's deemed too offensive so a new name for sharemilkers moving cows to farms is needed.

Ad Feedback