Hundreds of New Year revellers camping in the Waitaki Valley
are facing the possibility of a holiday wash-out, with record
rainfall predicted for the Southern Alps that could flood the
Although a flood alert had not been put in place, Environment
Canterbury (ECan) South Canterbury duty flood controller Tony
Henderson said holidaymakers should keep a close watch on
lake and river levels.
"We've been told between 150-200 mm of rainfall could fall in
the catchments of both the Waitaki and Rangitata rivers
between now and about midday on Wednesday.
"It is vitally important that holidaymakers who are camping
or simply visiting high country lakes and these two rivers
keep a very close watch on water levels.''
He said because the rain was predicted to fall mostly in the
mountains, it was especially important that people in the
plains area, where the weather could continue to be fine,
also stayed alert as rivers could still pose a threat to
safety as flood waters flowed downstream.
He added that ECan staff would monitor river and lake levels
until the threat of flooding had passed, and urged campers to
keep up to date by listening to radio updates or through the