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Holidaymakers advised to watch water levels in Canterbury

December 31, 2012

Holidaymakers advised to watch river and lake levels

Severe weather warnings for the Southern Alps have prompted Environment Canterbury to warn holidaymakers to keep a close watch on river and lake levels.

South Canterbury Duty Flood Controller Tony Henderson said this afternoon (MONDAY) that the Meteorological Service was predicting record rainfalls for this time of year to fall in the Southern Alps over a 40-hour period from 9pm today (MONDAY).

“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,” Mr Henderson said.

“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.”

Mr Henderson said there was no flood alert in place at this time but people should listen to local radio stations, and if they have internet access, check out the home page on Environment Canterbury’s website: www.ecan.govt.nz for flood warning updates.

As 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 stay alert as the rivers could still pose a threat to safety as flood waters flowed downstream, Mr Henderson said.

Environment Canterbury staff are now monitoring river and lake levels and would be doing so until the threat of flooding had passed, Mr Henderson said.

ENDS

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