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Civil Defence on alert as Canty rivers rise fast

November 14, 2006

MEDIA STATEMENT


Civil Defence on alert as Canty rivers rise fast

Canterbury civil defence and emergency management staff are on standby and in places like Selwyn District, Arthurs Pass, staff are hard at work monitoring rising rivers and ensuring households are safe.

Canterbury Civil Defence and Emergency Management group staff at Environment Canterbury and local civil defence staff in the districts with rivers feeding off the Main Divide are monitoring the situation closely.

One household has been evacuated in Arthurs Pass as a precautionary measure, says Civil Defence and Emergency Management Selwyn District Council manager Wilson Brown.

The road from Otira to Arthurs Pass is now closed with flooding and slips closing the main highway from Springfield to Arthur's Pass soon after lunch today.

"Residents are on standby in Arthur's Pass village but so far no homes have been touched by the rising Bealey River. The Bealey runs parallel to Arthurs Pass village and it has breached its first bank. One household close to the secondary stopbank has been evacuated as a precautionary measure but so far no properties have been inundated," Mr Brown said. "People in Arthur's Pass township are on standby and Civil Defence staff are maintaining a close watch on the river."

River summaries:

The Waimakariri river is estimated to reach its peak at the State Highway Bridge north of Christchurch, near Kaiapoi, before 3 am Wednesday morning. Currently the river only measures 200 cumecs at that point (the mean is 120 cumecs), although it has been estimated at around 2,300 cumecs closer to the Waimakariri Gorge at the Esk measuring site.

This time yesterday (2.30 pm) the Esk site measured one metre, today it is at 8 metres, translating to around 2,300 cumecs (cubic metres per second) approximately at that point and potentially a flood greater than a one-in-ten event. Earlier today, rainfall near the Main Divide was falling at the rate of 25-30 mls per hour , but that rate had slowed, said Environment Canterbury Flood Controller Tony Boyle.

The Waiau in North Canterbury has also sounded its "alarm" ie the levels are rising fast and it was measuring 260 cumecs at Marble Pt, the south side of Hanmer at 2.30 pm thisafternoon.

The Hurunui in North Canterbury is also rising fast, measuring 405 cumecs at Mandamus at 2.30 pm today (the mean is 50 cumecs).

The Rakaia River in mid/central Canterbury is also rising and with the Rakaia
huts closer to the mouth on the south side, Selwyn District Council's Civil Defence and Emergency Management staff will be keeping a close eye on any people in the area and advising them to get to safer ground.


For further information on rivers, contact your district council and ask to speak to the Civil Defence and Emergency Management staff.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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