River bursts banks a second time

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Monday’s heavy rain caused the Kakanui River to burst its banks for the second time in two weeks.

Waitaki District Council emergency services manager Chris Raine said the river flooded Fuchsia Creek Rd near Five Forks after it burst its banks.

“The river has built up a bit of gravel in a particular area,” Mr Raine said.

That build up was causing problems for the river, he said.

“It shouldn’t be doing what it did.”

An investigation had been launched yesterday to establish what was happening with the river, he said.

The council would be looking to see what remedies were available to keep the river contained and stop it from bursting its banks, Mr Raine said.

The river last burst its banks on Good Friday, after the Waitaki area experienced heavy rain.

The floodwaters swept a Fuchsia Creek resident’s car away at Five Forks bridge, leading to police, the fire service, St John and local farmers rescuing the woman.

Farmer Robert Borst used his 14-tonne digger to rescue the woman, with Oamaru Police Sergeant Peter Muldrew in the bucket to rescue the woman.

Mr Borst said the Kakanui River bursting its banks on Monday had not been as damaging as when the river burst over Easter.

“The worst part of it is the paddocks got a hell of a lot wetter again,” Mr Borst said.

He had between 50-70 hectares of property with fences wiped out from the Easter rain, as well as some debris in the paddocks.

The rain on Monday was “more coastal” than the Easter rain, so had not done anymore damage.

Having waterlogged paddocks was still “a nuisance” though, he said.

“It’s a bit disheartening.”

By DAVID DE LOREAN