An already saturated Christchurch is putting emergency
precautions in place ahead of this weekend's storm.
What remains of severe Tropical Cyclone Lusi is expected to
reach northern New Zealand early in the weekend, bringing
heavy rain and potentially damaging winds, before it moves
Christchurch City Council, Civil Defence and key agencies
have been working to prepare for the storm, Mayor Lianne
The city's stormwater and drainage systems have already been
checked, and emergency responses are being put in place.
"This is a situation where if we prepare for the worst case
scenario, we will be ready for what may come. I'd much rather
we put too many precautions in place than not enough," she
Parts of the city suffered severe flooding after heavy rain
Ms Dalziel said councillors and community board members had
been briefed by Civil Defence, and would be getting more
technical advice about preparations later today.
"We are also calling on communities and individuals to
prepare as best they can for the forecast rain.
"We will have more information for people on our preparations
and precautions ahead of Sunday. This will help community
groups and residents across the city prepare."
Christchurch residents needed to be extra wary of the storm
conditions, Metservice spokesman Dan Corbett said.
"They'll get into a time of persistent rain over eastern
parts of the South Island. We've already had discussions with
the council because of all the flooding in the last week or
The Fiji Meteorological Service has now upgraded the cyclone
to category 3, with winds between 120 and 160km/h. Lusi is
currently southwest of Fiji, and on track to reach here late
on Friday or early Saturday.
"It's looking like quite a mean and ugly storm," Mr Corbett
He said Lusi would move south over the next 24 to 48 hours,
starting to weaken as it moves into cooler water.
It will reach Northland, Auckland and Coromandel first,
bringing strong to severe gales and heavy rain.
The weather system will then move down the country, with the
worst weather in the South Island expected late Saturday
night or in the early hours of Sunday.