Wild weather lashes Waitaki

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Heavy rain and gusty wind caused chaos in Waitaki yesterday, with flooding, power cuts and more occurring throughout the area.

Civil defence local controller Murray Linwood said the local emergency team was winding up yesterday as rain hit the area.

State highway One was being monitored, multiple roads were closed and the road at the Alma Underbridge had been reported as unstable, Mr Linwood said.

The response team was standing by as several houses and businesses reported being threatened by rising waters due to the heavy rain.

Waitaki District Council emergency services manager Chris Raine said the rain was causing significant issues throughout the area.

“We’re getting lots of flooded roads . . . quite big chunks of the district roads have been closed off,” Mr Raine said.

At the time the Oamaru Mail went to print, the Waitaki District Council website listed six roads as being closed, including Elderslie Rd, Herbert Rd and more.

The website also listed all roads in the Corriedale Ward Network as being closed.

The main rivers had risen rapidly yesterday because of the rain and Civil Defence were reacting, Mr Raine said.

“We’ve got an operations team in place monitoring the situation,” he said.

People needed to hunker down inside with food and water and be ready to get away in case of flooding from the rainfall, Mr Raine said.

With reports of cell phone reception outages, internet outages and power cuts, people needed to “stay at home and do what they can – be safe”, Mr Raine said.

MetService duty meteorologist David Miller said, in the 24 hours before the Oamaru Mail went to print, about 50 mls of rain had fallen.

Heavy rain was expected until midnight last night and between 70-100 mls of potential rainfall was forecast.

The area was experiencing gusty wind as well, he said.

Mr Miller said the heavy rain was likely to clear this morning, leading to finer weather later today.

By DAVID DE LOREAN