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South Canterbury and North Otago on flood alert this weekend

Published: 10/08/2012 4:14 p.m. 

South Canterbury and North Otago are again braced for possible flooding after another Weather-Watch predicting heavy rain for Sunday and Monday.

Environment Canterbury’s Timaru based Duty Flood Controller Phil Lees said the Timaru flood control room is prepared to set up again after the MetService issued a Weather-Watch for further rain in South Canterbury and North Otago this weekend.

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.

“With the ground already wet, there will be significant extra run-off which means local streams and rivers will rise rapidly. Everyone needs to be prepared as extensive surface flooding will occur very quickly if the rain arrives as predicted”.

To enable South Canterbury first response providers to be prepared, a briefing was held this morning by Environment Canterbury staff involving Civil Defence and Emergency Management staff from Timaru, Mackenzie, Waimate and Waitaki District Councils, Police, St Johns, NZ Fire Service, Opus, and Opuha Water to discuss the difficulties that could arise from the predicted rainfall.

Environment Canterbury is 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.

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