Weather hampers holiday plans

Last updated 14:21 29/12/2013

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A family trapped in a river are among holiday-makers affected by wet weather in Canterbury.

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The family with two young children were trapped in their car after trying to cross a Canterbury river this morning near Oxford. Fire fighters and police have helped the family out of the car using ropes and ladders, southern fire communications shift manager Karl Patterson said. 

A police spokesman said the swollen river levels caused by the rain was the likely cause. He advised motorists to use common sense.

Fire fighters are also responding to a slip in the Tasman region, just out of Marahau. Patterson said the slip had blocked one lane of traffic on Sandy Bay-Marahau Rd, near the lagoon. 

Patterson said the slip was on a blind corner, and fire fighters would assist with traffic control.

MetService has released a thunderstorm warning for much of the country, including the Canterbury high country, inland Otago and Southland.

Isolated thunderstorms are expected over inland parts of Southland, Otago and the Canterbury high country this afternoon and early evening. Some of the thunderstorms could be severe, producing localised downpours of 25 to 40mm per hour.

Rainfall this heavy can cause surface or flash flooding, especially around low-lying areas such as streams and rivers, and may cause slips.

Christchurch and coastal Canterbury towns should escape the thundery weather.

MetService duty forecaster Melissa Roux said low cloud and drizzly rain would remain across Christchurch for the rest of the day, but would clear later tonight.

Tomorrow morning there might be a brief break in the rain, before a front moves in from the west bringing heavier rain about midday. Roux said that rain should clear on Monday evening, leaving Christchurch with a fine New Year's Eve.

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- © Fairfax NZ News


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