Wild weather strikes top of South

03:00, May 06 2013
Christchurch rain and traffic
COMMUTING: Surface flooding slowed traffic in the morning rush hour.
Cycling in flooded streets
UNDETERRED: Wet feet but no traffic jams for this two-wheeled commuter.
Rain - Bealey Ave
BEALEY AVE: Surface flooding caused traffic problems on main roads across the city.
Flooding in Villa Grove
UPPER RICCARTON: Villa Grove disappears under water.
Postie in flooded Villa Grove
HARD AT WORK: The post must still be delivered despite the flooding in Upper Riccarton.
Cleaning up the floodwater
THE CLEAN UP: An Ilam resident cleans up after water poured into her garage and bedroom.

An Ilam family today woke to find their home flooded after a night of heavy rain and strong wind.

The mother, who did not want to be named, said the garage of the Brodie St property had flooded in the last heavy downpour - "but nothing like this".

The family of four have lived in the property, which they rent, since 2010.

Send your stories and pictures of flooding or traffic jams to reporters@press.co.nz.

She and her husband noticed the garage was flooded about 7am and went to check on her daughter, whose room was adjacent.

At first she did not realise her daughter's room was also flooded until the 20-year-old student got out of bed and her feet hit the drenched carpet.


At one point the water was up to the skirting boards in her bedroom before it began sinking into the carpet, her mother said.

The carpet in the hallway and parts of the lounge were also soaked. Pools of water formed under their feet as they walked throughout the home.

The family had barricaded doorways with blankets and towels to try to stop the water from spreading.

However, it was believed the water may be coming up from under the home, as there was a crack underneath caused by the earthquakes.

Neighbours spoken to by The Press said while water came right up to their front doors it had not gone inside.

The rain is expected to clear this afternoon for the Garden City.

Canterbury health uthorites have warning people to avoid beaches and rivers, following the heavy rain.

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, said the rain had placed pressure on the sewerage system.

Sewage overflow discharges have been notified by the Christchurch City Council into the Avon River, Heathcote River and Akaroa Harbour.

"Water quality in the Avon and Heathcote rivers rarely meets recreational water standards, but at the moment both these rivers are particularly contaminated and contact with these waterways should definitely be avoided," he said.

"People should in general avoid rivers and the beaches for at least two days after any significant rainfall event, not only this one. This means it's not safe to drink water from rivers or use the rivers or estuary for recreational use."

Surface flooding and the return to school has seen long traffic queues this morning, while MetService is predicting a high of 13 degrees Celsius for today.

MetService forecaster Marylin Avery said about 18 millimetres of rain had fallen in Christchurch.

But areas "closer to the coast" had received the most rainfall, with 27mm recorded in Lincoln, she said.

By comparison North Canterbury had received only showers. Cheviot had 15mm, Waipara 8mm and Rangiora 4mm.

The Christchurch City Council said a stormwater pipe had broken overnight in Avon Park in Avonside and water pumps had cleared extensive flooding in Bealey Ave near Colombo and Manchester streets this morning.

Transport and greenspace unit manager John Mackie said they did not expect further flooding at high tide at 1.30pm today.

He said the flooding in Moorhouse Ave was about 30 centimetres deep and created traffic problems. The flooding may have been caused by Scirt roadworks nearby, he said.

Mackie said there could be traffic problems near Opawa School when classes finish at 3.30pm due to the heavy rain and local roadworks.

"It is likely to be pretty gnarly traffic over there this afternoon,'' he said.

A police spokesman said some people had called to report "light flooding" on roads.

He said there had been one crash so far this morning in King St, Rangiora. No-one was injured.

He believed drivers were following a police request last Friday that they drive to the conditions when the bad weather hit.

A Fire Service spokeswoman said they had so far received two calls in relation to flooding.

At the top of the South Island, heavy rain has caused flooding and slips along about five kilometres of highway between Blenheim and Seddon, which had narrowed the road to one lane in places.

"Truck drivers have advised police that trucks are only just getting through and cars will be unlikely to do so," police said.

State Highway 1 was also down to one lane just to the north of Kaikoura.