Easter storm batters South Island

22:49, Apr 17 2014
Fairfield and Riverlaw flooding
IN DEEP WATER AGAIN: Heavy rain in Christchurch overnight caused the Heathcote River to burst its banks, flooding Fairfield and Riverlaw terraces.
Heathcote river flooding
LIKE A LAKE: Water from the flooded Heathcote River spreads as far as the eye can see around Fairfield and Riverlaw terraces in Christchurch.
Blaketown roof repairs
QUICK FIX: Blaketown resident Stacey Campbell and her brother-in-law, Jimmy, make emergency repairs to her garage roof after the skylight was smashed and one wall was blown off in yesterday's savage winds.
Aynsley Rd flooding
ROAD BLOCKED: Motorists have been performing a lot of U-turns in at the corner of Aynsley and Opawa roads (Christchurch), said resident Brenda Dew.
Eastern tce flooding
HEATHCOTE HORROR: Flooding is back at the corner of Eastern Tce after the Heathcote River, Christchurch burst its banks again after severe rain.
Landslip on Centaurus Road
DESTRUCTION: Today's severe storm caused a landslip on Centaurus Rd, Huntsbury, Christchurch.
Tree down on Eastern Tce
FELLED: A tree crashes down onto powerlines in Eastern Tce, Christchurch.
Tony Jolliffe Flockton Basin
FAMILIAR FEELING: Tony Jolliffe, a resident of the Flockton Basin Christchurch, for 60 years, watches on as his home suburb floods yet again.
Harrison St flooding
DESERTED: A Flockton Basin resident wanders down a flooded Harrison St, Christchurch.
Carrick St flooding
FLOODED: Christchurch's Carrick St looks more like a river after this morning's heavy rain.
Trees down by Buller bridge
RIPPED OUT ROOTS: Trees down on the Esplanade beside the Buller bridge on the West Coast.
Wellies during flooding
'NEVER SEEN IT LIKE THIS BEFORE': Rainwater rises to the ankles in Leithfield, Canterbury.
Destroyed Greymouth plane hangars
WINGS CLIPPED: A private plane suffered some damage after hangars at Greymouth Airport were destroyed in the storm.
Destroyed Greymouth Airport hangar
BIG CLEAN-UP AHEAD: Private plane hangers at Greymouth Airport were completely destroyed in raging winds on the West Coast.
Diamond Harbour powerlines
EMERGENCY WORK: Linesmen work on power lines brought down by a felled tree in Diamond Harbour, Banks Peninsula.
Eastern tce floods
MAKING THE MOST OF IT: Children on Eastern Tce play in the floodwater at their gate.
Greymouth Municipal Band hall
ROOF GONE: The Greymouth Municipal Band hall in Blaketown was completely destroyed in yesterday's storm.
Canterbury Street Lyttelton floods
GUSHING: Rainwater rushes down Canterbury St, Lyttelton.
Palatine Tce floods
SURVEYING DAMAGE: Palatine Tce became part of Heathcote river this morning.
Eastern Terrace willow tree
PRECARIOUS: A large willow came down over the power lines on Eastern Tce in front of Georgia Grey's house
Phil McVicar's Blaketown home
EMERGENCY REPAIRS: Phil McVicar's Blaketown home gets a quick fix after raging winds tore apart the West Coast.
South Island Easter storm
A car crushed by fallen trees on Hackthorne Rd, Cashmere.
Easter storm South Island
Richmond Hill Road the day after the Good Friday storm.
South Island Easter storm
Road washed away in Parapara, Golden Bay.
South Island Easter Storm
Coasters use a bit of Kiwi ingenuity to hold a roof down in Fairdown Rd, Westport.
17-CHP-Grey-2
UPSET: The local Blake Town dairy without a roof, an upset owner standing with his shop.
17-CHP-Grey-4
BLOWN AWAY: A small office blown off the wharf, then swept across the Blaketown lagoon, coming to rest on the opposite river bank.

A major storm sweeping the country is set to hammer the South Island again today.

Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and the West Coast have been hit with heavy rain and strong winds overnight, causing slips, felling trees and cutting power to homes.

Many roads are closed but authorities hope the weather will improve this morning to allow staff out to clear those blocked by debris.

Fairfield Tce flooding
IN DEEP WATER AGAIN: Heavy rain overnight caused the Heathcote River to burst its banks, flooding Fairfield and Riverlaw terraces.

Have you experienced severe flooding or wind damage in Canterbury today? Email your photos to newsflow@press.co.nz

Bad weather was expected to be centred around the north and east of the South Island today, MetService forecaster Richard Finnie said, while Otago could expect to be battered by heavy rain and wind today.

Southern Communications Centre shift commander Inspector Rick Dury said: "In a general sense, the top half of the South Island is experiencing bad weather. We've got a lot of surface flooding - a lot of trees etc down.

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"Obviously a few of the State Highways are blocked and we're clearing those this morning."

Ripped off roofs and flooding sparked calls to the Fire Service in the South Island overnight.

Fire Service southern communications shift manager Andrew Norris said worst hit areas were Greymouth and Westport.

"The weather that's causing the damage seems to have eased. It looks like most of our day will be spent cleaning up," he said.

A Christchurch City Council spokesman said 65 millimetres of rain fell across the city overnight and 180 mm in Akaroa.

All river levels were high and the Heathcote River has flooded.

Rainfall throughout Christchurch and Banks Peninsula was easing and should start clearing by around 9am. 

High tide was due at 7.51am at Ferrymead but wasn't expected to create further issues.

WEATHER CANCELS FLIGHTS

The weather has forced the cancellation of some flights out of Christchurch.

Flights to Dunedin and Rotorua from Christchurch Airport were cancelled this morning.

Airport staff were kept busy printing new boarding passes and answering passengers' travel-related questions.

Arrivals were also disrupted, with some inbound flights, including those from Hokitika, Blenheim and Dunedin, cancelled.

Christchurch Airport spokeswoman Yvonne Densem said Christchurch airport was open and operating, but regional services were affected.

"Wellington and Auckland airports are fine as far as we can tell. The jet planes operating between the three main centres are not having any issues. Just the smaller planes," she said.

WEST COAST MOVES INTO CLEAN-UP MODE

The West Coast was yesterday hammered by destructive winds which ripped roofs of buildings and cut power.

In Westport this morning Mitre 10 has fired up a generator and is open so people who need to do urgent repairs can gather supplies.

The store's assistant manager Troy Scanlon said trong winds cut power to the area and it was not known when it would be back up. Winds eased last night but it was raining heavily this morning, he said.

"It's pretty bad. A lot of people have lost roofs," Scanlon said.

"When the gusts hit you struggled to stand up. People have lived their whole lives here and never seen anything like it."

Scanlon said staff had given up their public holiday and had come in to work.

"This is the first Good Friday and the only Good Friday we'll be opening.

"Obviously we'll get raided pretty quick. Tarps have pretty much gone already.

"The good thing about a small town is that people will pitch in and help out."

Fifty vehicles, including campervans and trucks, spent the night stranded at Springs Junction after State Highway 7 - Lewis Pass - to Greymouth closed. The road had now re-opened.

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