Torrential rain warning issued
Torrential rain is expected to drench South Canterbury through most of today, bringing the potential for surface flooding for the second time in as many weeks.
MetService issued a severe weather warning for the region yesterday, predicting that as much as 140mm of rain could fall in the foothills and up to 100mm near the coast.
That level of rainfall would bring "almost certain surface flooding", Environment Canterbury said.
Residents should be aware that the rain could bring high river flows, full culverts and surface flooding to the region, the Timaru District Council and Civil Defence warned.
The ground is still saturated from the up to 240mm of rain that fell in last week's storm, which would add to the problem, duty flood control officer Tony Henderson said.
“With the ground already so wet, there could be significant extra run-off which means rivers could rise very quickly."
Farmers were warned to move stock to higher ground and residents living near rivers are advised to remain vigilant.
“This is a very similar amount of rain to that experienced last week and is coming from the same easterly direction,” Mr Henderson said. “This means that we could be facing similar river flows to those we were dealing with last week, which saw rivers reaching between 10 and 50-year flows.”
In the event of heavy rain, residents were asked to avoid unnecessary travel. People living in flood-prone areas should prepare emergency kits and know how to evacuate if asked to do so.
Last week's 36 hours of torrential rain left behind extensive damage to rural bridges and surface flooding throughout low-lying areas.
The downpour on July 31 caused significant damage to roads and left several residents isolated. Some roads were washed out with access limited in the Mackenzie district, where five bridges lost approaches.
Raincliff Bridge near Pleasant Point was closed when contractors discovered the middle of the bridge had dropped 200mm.
Timaru, Mackenzie and Waimate councils all reported extensive scouring on the roads. In Mackenzie some residents were isolated by flooding.
- © Fairfax NZ News