Rose McEwan, 16, and James McEwan, 12 paddle their
inflatable lilo's on a flooded play ground in Rangiora.
Photo by Getty
A major mop-up operation has been launched in North
Canterbury after yesterday's torrential downpour caused
The deluge has since eased enough for most of the surface
flooding around the worst-hit towns of Rangiora, Oxford and
Kaiapoi to subside today.
State Highway 1, between Waikuku and Amberley, reopened this
But the New Zealand Transport Agency has urged for extreme
caution when driving from Christchurch to Picton today with
some surface flooding still remaining and conditions
hazardous in areas.
"Motorists are advised to lower their speed and increase
their following distances to reduce any risk of a crash,''
said NZTA performance manager Pete Connors.
Waimakariri District Council's emergency operations centre
was in operation through the night last night dealing with
problems arising from yesterday's flooding around the
A boil water notice for residents connected to Oxford's rural
no. 2 water supply was put into effect late yesterday.
The notice is still in effect and residents are being advised
to boil all drinking water until further notice.
A number of roads have suffered damage during the flooding
and people are advised to take extreme care when driving and
particularly be on the lookout for road damage such as
potholes and other road damage.
Council staff and contractors were out in force this morning
checking flood damage, drainage and roads before making
assessments as to the extent of repair work necessary.
"Some of those repairs can be immediate, but it is very
likely that there will be issues that will need addressing
over the longer term as a result of flood damage,'' said the
district council's emergency operations centre controller,
The rain storm hit at a time when the region's water table is
extremely high after the last two months of heavy rain.
Mr Harrison said Waimakariri has already this year exceeded
its average annual rainfall.
"This not only exacerbates current issues but also can create
new issues the extent of which is uncertain at this stage,''
"Once we've had a chance to examine the extent of damage and
formulate a recovery approach based on that, the recovery
task can be set in motion.''
The emergency operations centre is still operating at this
A decision as to whether to continue it at full strength or
on a reduced basis will be made later today, the council
Waimakariri Civil Defence emergency management staff worked
through the night to answer calls from residents.
Most of the flood waters have receded significantly today.
Now, Civil Defence staff are knocking on doors to check that
residents in the worst-hit areas are coping.