Temuka’s Civil Defence Centre has been activated due to heavy rain.
The South Canterbury town has received between 120 and 200 millimetres of rain since Monday.
Environment Canterbury Flood Controller Tony Henderson says the Temuka River is flowing at nearly 600 cubic metres per second and has caused some surface flooding on the south side of the river near State Highway 1, but he believes the township will be spared.
“There is unlikely to be a break on the north side, the town side, but with it being so close to the town Civil Defence has decided to activate.”
Oamaru’s 20 volunteer firefighters are expecting another busy day ahead as the town remains cut off due to flooding. Fire officers have spent the past two days away from their day jobs, pumping water from homes, clearing drains, and reassuring residents.
Fire Station Officer Brett Delamere says locals appear to have learnt from flooding in the past and many have taken precautionary measures to protect their homes. He says firefighters are getting a few perks as they carry out their duties with people and generously providing sustenance in the form of tea and scones.
It has been a long night for farmers in the Otago region. A woman who lives in Ngapara around 30 kilometres from Oamaru, says her property has been completely cut off.
“All the fences are gone through the back and I just hope the rain stops.”
The army has been called in to help officials assess the damage. Soldiers and two Unimogs are helping with access to isolated areas in the Waitaki District. Two Iroquois helicopters are also on standby.
The district is locked down, as state highways north and south are closed in several places. The Kakanui Maheno Bridges have now reopened.