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South Canterbury placed on flood alert again

Published: 7/08/2012 4:28 p.m. 

For the second time in a week South Canterbury is again braced for heavy rain and almost certain surface flooding after another forecast for torrential rain.


Environment Canterbury’s Timaru-based Duty Flood Control Officer Tony Henderson said the Timaru flood control room was poised to swing into action gain after the Met Service issued a severe weather warning for South Canterbury this afternoon (Tuesday).


Rainfall of up to 140mm in the foothills and up to 100mm on the Canterbury Plains was predicted to fall in a 24-hour period from about 9pm tonight.


“This is a very similar amount of rain to that experienced last week and is coming from the same easterly direction,” Mr Henderson said. “This means that we could be facing similar river flows to those we were dealing with last week, which saw rivers reaching between 10 and 50-year flows.”


“Added to this is the problem that the ground throughout the region is still saturated from the up to 240mm of rain that fell last week. However, on the positive side the rivers coped very well with the heavy flows and our flood protection works stood up very well to the floodwaters.”


Environment Canterbury is warning farmers to move stock to higher ground as a precaution and is also alerting residents living near rivers to be extremely vigilant.


“With the ground already so wet, there could be significant extra run-off which means rivers could rise very quickly. We want everyone to be very careful when they are out on the roads too as there could be extensive surface flooding if this rain does arrive as predicted.”

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