Environment Canterbury has activated its flood control room in Timaru after the prospect of more heavy rain in South Canterbury and North Otago on Sunday and Monday.
ECan is also warning farmers to move stock to higher ground as a precaution and is also alerting residents living near flood prone areas to be extremely vigilant.
A significant amount of rain is predicted to fall in the 48 hour period from Sunday morning through to Monday evening.
Added to this is the problem that the ground throughout the region is saturated from the 320mm of rain that has fallen in the last 10 days.
The flood room is activated when they receive a weather watch notification from the MetService.
As much as 100 millimetres of rain could fall, and will be at its heaviest on Tuesday and Wednesday, with lambs exposed to wind chill from low temperatures.
Snow starting on Sunday could lower to 400-500m from Monday, with possibly half a metre of snow above 500m and 1m above 700m.
ECan duty flood controller Tony Henderson said they monitor the information that comes in and pass it on to the groups that need to know such as Civil Defence.
‘‘We’re the first line in the chain of providing information when things are starting to happen,’’ Mr Henderson said.
He emphasised that at this stage it was just a severe weather watch. The MetService had not issued a warning yet but that call could come tomorrow.
The rain over the past two weeks had forced the council to pre-empt the flood watch advisory, he said.
‘‘This way people are aware something could happen,’’ he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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