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Waimak in flood today.  Photo: reader Denise Dickson

Newstalk ZB in Christchurch is this afternoon reporting that Kaiapoi residents have been put on high alert for fears of widespread flooding as heavy rain continues to fall across the region.  The town is home to 8000 people and is just 10 minutes north of Christchurch

Meanwhile other North Canterbury townships are already dealing with flooding.  Leithfield, Amberley, Sefton, Waikuku and now Kaiapoi have seen some residents leave their homes as floodwaters continue to rise.

Small scale evacuations have taken place as steady rain continues to fall in much of Canterbury this afternoon with all eyes on swollen rivers. 

The Selwyn, Kaiapoi and Ashburton rivers are running particularly high and high tide is due this afternoon which may impact further on a number of areas. Christchurchs’ Avon and Heathcote rivers are also extremely high and further rain may cause more problems.

Akaroa was hit hard overnight with flooding for some residents in the inner harbour and  also strong winds caused a number of headaches for homeowners with roofing iron, tiles and general debris being hurled about in the gale.

The gales crushed Leigh’s car when the neighbours tree blew over in yesterday’s severe gales in Nelson.  Photo: Leigh Stevens

The storm seems to be stalling in some areas bringing prolonged rainfall. Some residents have commented that they haven’t seen floodwaters to this degree before.

A number of schools in outlying areas have closed their doors for the entire day or have decided to close early, due to rising water levels. Rangiora high school and Ilam primary school in Christchurch being also amongst the casualties.

Civil Defence ares closely monitoring the situation and may consider further evacuations this afternoon. Marlborough is already in a state of emergency after earlier flooding and high winds lashed the province.

More rain is forecast for Canterbury, particularly south of the Waimakariri river including Christchurch city, until midnight tonight.


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