7 Mar 2015

Worst weather over - MetService

11:53 am on 7 March 2015

The mayor of the Buller District says with the worst rain almost over, locals are keen for fine weather so they can get on with the clean up.

House flooded in Westport


A MetService forecaster, Peter Little, says there will be a few more showers this afternoon, heavy at times, but the weather should ease from tomorrow.

"Early next week it's looking fairly settled. We don't have any major frontal features on the horizon so after quite a busy couple of days and fairly wild weather it looks like things are settling down again into next week."

Buller District mayor Garry Howard said the biggest problem with more rain would be delays in cleaning up the 17 properties flooded yesterday.

He said people had made great progress during a sunny spell yesterday afternoon.

"We had a fantastic clear and fine afternoon. It was just sort of one extreme to the other.

"A lot of people got cleaned up to a great extent but certainly today there will be nothing outside drying at all and people will still be shifting things back to where they were, prior to yesterday's event."

Mr Howard said on the whole, the community is relatively unscathed.

Accommodation providers around the region reported cancellations as tourists bypassed the area.

Mr Howard said that was a wise decision.

"Yes, it's unfortunate, we've been having a bumper tourism season. It's been really good with three months straight fine weather.

"But you know it's best that people just avoid it for today anyway, and we look forward to welcoming them as from tomorrow."

Transport Agency regional mananger Pete Connors said motorists in the area should monitor its website for road conditions.

The torrential rain yesterday caused widespread havoc in many areas, with several homes and businesses swamped, slips blocking roads and floods trapping drivers and campers.

Schools were closed in Westport, and several streets and homes were flooded in Westport, Reefton and Greymouth.

South of Greymouth, the Coast Guard had to rescue a camper from the rising Taramakau River.

About 117 millimetres of rain fell over six hours, which closed State Highway 6 through the Buller Gorge. The road is now open.

Westport - 6 March 2015

Westport Photo: SUPPLIED

Wellington's homegrown festival postponed

The one-day Wellington music festival Homegrown has been postponed as heavy rain and strong winds were set to batter the capital.

The festival was due to begin this afternoon, with a sold-out crowd of 17,000 people to see artists including Shapeshifter, Shihad and David Dallas.

It will instead run tomorrow.

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