Severe flooding in February 1945 left much of South Canterbury under water, Temuka being the worst affected.
Early reports said people were marooned at the Opihi River reserve, in a Pleasant Point bus on a bridge, and further south in an army truck.
Rainfall in one area was said to be 35.5 centimetres in 36 hours and homes were evacuated in Temuka, Geraldine, Timaru and Waimate.
There was 182.8cm of water through some houses in Temuka. In the Totara Valley area 1000 sheep were washed away from one farm alone.
The rail link was badly affected: two major washouts, 37 smaller washouts, two major bridge and a large number of minor bridge repairs, and miles of reballasting to be contended with.
The worst gap at Temuka was 42 metres wide and 7.6 metres deep and 611 cubic metres of shingle were pushed into it in 21 days.
- The Timaru Herald