19 Jun 2013

Flooded farmers in south bracing for snow

6:27 am on 19 June 2013

Farmers in flooded parts of the eastern South Island are anxiously preparing for the next weather onslaught.

MetService is forecasting a storm will bring snow to much of the South Island from Wednesday night, down to sea level in Otago and Southland.

Otago Civil Defence said exposed parts of the South Island east coast are likely to experience blizzard conditions for a time during Thursday and Friday and is urging people to take emergency precautions.

It said the snow and rain from the storm is also expected to keep the Taieri, Lower Clutha and Pomahaka rivers running high.

Taieri Plain farmer Michael Lord said large stretches of farmland on the eastern side of the Plain are still under water, mostly in designated ponding areas where water was released to ease pressure on the swollen Taieri River.

Mr Lord said heavy snow in catchment areas upstream could prolong the flooding.