26 May 2011

Tasman residents clean up after flooding

9:55 pm on 26 May 2011

Farmers and home owners are cleaning up and assessing damage after flooding in the Tasman district.

Rivers overflowed causing flooding and road closures from Golden Bay to Marlborough overnight on Wednesday.

Residents needing help are advised to contact the local council.

In a 24-hour downpour, MetService said up to 170mm of rain fell on the hills around Nelson. Some 500mm of rain fell at Anatoki in Golden Bay.

The Waimea River burst its banks forcing the evacuation of about a dozen houses at Hope, near Richmond, early on Thursday. The move was mostly precautionary, although at least one home - in Paton's Road - had water through it.

Houses at Brightwater were also evacuated, Civil Defence officials said. Flooding was also reported at Golden Bay and Canvastown.

Senior Sergeant Stu Koefoed, of Nelson, said the Wairoa River flow went from 50 cubic metres per second to peak at 1200 cubic metres per second.

Rivers in the region were receding from their peaks on Thursday morning and flooding was abating.

The heavy rainfall and flooding affected several roads on Thursday, including State Highway 60 at Waitapu Splash in Golden Bay. However, Nelson police said State Highway 6 at Canvastown had partially reopened, although there would be delays.

The main rain band that hit the top of the South Island had moved on, leaving only a few showers behind, MetService said.

Family forced to flee home

A Nelson family had to flee from their hillside house after a massive slip during torrential rain.

Stephen Burn said neighbours woke him and his family of five about 5am on Thursday.

Tonnes of mud and earth from the steep section on Konini Street had slid onto the road, leaving the foundations of the house exposed.

Farms hit for second time

Farmers whose properties were waterlogged in last year's flooding in the district are counting the cost of the latest heavy rainfall.

A dairy farmer in Ferntown, near Collingwood, said much of the pasture on her farm has been ruined.

Sue Brown said lack of pasture regrowth since last year's flood had already affected production. She will have to buy in winter feed for cows, which will push up costs.

Properties in the Aorere River Valley in Tasman District were inundated and stock swept away when the worst floods in 150 years struck the region in December last year.