Big wet turned out to be a damp squib

Rain didn't ruin weekend spirits

Last updated 05:00 17/03/2014
Barton Rural School
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ
MAKING A SPLASH: Oliver Smith, left, and Jack Crossan make the most of the rain, jumping in puddles on the courtyard of Barton Rural School at the school’s fair yesterday.

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South Canterbury weathered the remnants of Cyclone Lusi with minimal impact yesterday, despite heavy rainfall warnings.

MetService predicted up to 80mm of rain along the coast but by last night the heaviest falls had been in the Morven and Blue Cliffs areas with 50mm recorded.

A handful of community events planned for yesterday including the Geraldine Lions Club bike challenge and the Temuka kids triathlon had to be postponed due to the weather.

An evening flight arriving from Wellington to the Richard Pearse Airport was also cancelled.

The Barton Rural School fair went on as scheduled, although pony rides and the bouncy castle were cancelled.

Spokeswoman Nicki Poulter said plenty of people still turned up and most activities were able to be adapted for indoors.

"The amazing cafe was really popular and kept the crowds here, but you can't do much about the weather."

The fair is the school's main fundraiser, with proceeds going towards a new physical equipment equipment shed. Takings were expected to be down from what it would have been on a fine day.

However, the rain did not dampen the spirits of everyone.

Provincial president of Federated Farmers Ivon Hurst thought the rain was wonderful and farmers would be happy.

"It's wonderful. We aren't in a drought but near drought; we needed rain."

In terms of negative affects, Mr Hurst said paddocks were at the point where they could absorb a lot of rain before there would be any damage.

South Canterbury river levels were largely unaffected by the heavy rainfall, with the Pareora having the largest increase, rising from 2 cumecs to 116 cumecs during the day.

Civil defence was not activated in Timaru, the fire service had no callouts, and no power outages were reported to Alpine Energy.

Police Sergeant Tony Woodbridge said drivers should be commended for driving to the conditions yesterday.

The weather was expected to ease overnight and is expected to improve "slowly but surely" over the coming week, said MetService meteorologist Elke Louw.

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- The Timaru Herald

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