Wild weather causes problems across the South

St Kilda firefighter Mark Fisher hands out stickers to children at St Clair Kindergarten after the brigade dealt with surface flooding in the playground yesterday. Photo: Linda Robertson
St Kilda firefighter Mark Fisher hands out stickers to children at St Clair Kindergarten after the brigade dealt with surface flooding in the playground yesterday. Photo: Linda Robertson
Wild weather across the southern region yesterday caused disruption and damage that could take up to two weeks to repair.

Severe surface flooding in Dunedin and large parts of Southland put some emergency services under the pump.

MetService data showed Lumsden received 42.4mm of rain between 2am and 10am yesterday, and the Dunedin area received more than 27mm of rain between 6am and 10am.

The resulting surface flooding closed many Northern and Central Southland roads and prompted the Southland District Council to issue a warning for drivers to take extra care in the coming days.

Council transport and strategic manager Hartley Hare said roads around Lumsden and Dipton had ''quite severe flooding'' and the clean-up was expected to take at least two weeks.

He said the worst-hit area was Otapiri Gorge Rd where flooding had caused a slip which had blocked the road completely.

Contractors were busy around the region clearing roads.

''In terms of where we're currently sitting, it's probably got at least a couple of weeks of work to get everything cleared up, but possibly longer,'' he said.

The heavy rain also caused severe surface flooding around Dunedin.

The worst hit was St Clair Kindergarten which called the St Kilda Fire Brigade to pump the rising flood water from its playground.

Dunedin Kindergarten Association general manager Christine Kerr said it was the 15th time the facility had flooded since the South Dunedin floods of 2015.

She said a drain was situated in the middle of the kindergarten's low-lying grounds, and built-in pumps helped remove the water.

But rain in the past two weeks meant the water table was high and the pumps failed to keep up with yesterday's heavy rain.

Mrs Kerr said the kindergarten had sand bags for such occasions, and started putting them in place about 7.30am, to keep water out of the building.

''Just as the children were arriving, it became obvious that we needed help.

''The situation got worse and worse, so we called the fire brigade about 8.30am.

''Mostly we cope, but today was a desperate measure.''

She said early next year the kindergarten would move into its new facility next door, which would solve the problem.

Surface flooding also caused St Clair School to close one of its entrances, and a vehicle had mechanical problems on Portobello Rd (near Timaru St) after driving through deep floodwater yesterday morning.

Power contractors spent much of yesterday repairing damage to the power grid around Taieri Mouth and Henley, following multiple lightning strikes in the area on Tuesday night.

An Aurora Energy spokeswoman said the strikes affected six electricity transformers, leaving residents without power.

Power was restored late yesterday afternoon.

Taieri Mouth resident Chris Knight said mobile communication towers were also damaged by the ''massive'' lightning strike.

''It was one of the biggest I've ever seen.''

Wet and windy conditions in Taiaroa Head and Harwood caused a tree to bring down power lines about 10am yesterday.

Crews spent much of yesterday restoring power to 385 customers affected by the outage.

MetService is predicting warmer and drier weather today and temperatures are expected to be between 20degC and 27degC in Otago and Southland tomorrow.

 

Add a Comment

 

xmas_banner_620_x_95.jpg

See more great gift ideas !   For Her  |  For Him  |  For Families  |  For Kids  | 

xmas_banner2.jpg