Flooding in Christchurch, evacuations in Sth Canterbury settlement

Source: 1News

Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are experiencing flooding following heavy rain.

Ōpāwaho/Heathcote River flooding in Christchurch.

The Ōpāwaho/Heathcote River has burst its banks leaving some roads submerged in water.

Some nearby properties have also been impacted by the flooding and several roads around the city are closed.

There is also flooding in Kaituna Valley on Banks Peninsula where roads are also closed.

Down in South Canterbury the Timaru District Council last night declared a State of Emergency for Pleasant Point, Temuka after damage to a stopbank.

Ōpāwaho/Heathcote River flooding in Christchurch.

This is due to a risk of flooding in the area following damage to a stopbank along the South side of the Opihi River between Butlers Rd and Kerrytown Rd.

Environment Canterbury’s Leigh Griffiths told 1News the stopbank has “significant” damage.

“A small section of stopbank on the Opihi River has significant erosion damage and is at risk of failing. The stopbank is above a small hut community which is at risk of flooding if the stopbank fails.”

Griffiths said The Opihi River is flowing high after a lot of rain this week but it is dropping very slowly.

“When rivers drop they move around in their beds, which can lead to further erosion and breakouts as braid angles change and bed loads and debris move around."

Around 15 residents in the area have been contacted by police and were helped to evacuate.

Timaru District Council says this affected only those directly next to the Opihi River, between Butlers Rd and Kerrytown Rd.

If anyone in the area hasn't been contacted yet there is no risk to their property.

Police told 1News they assisted with a handful of evacuations on Wednesday night and there were no major issues.

Engineers will be assessing the damage this morning (Thursday).

People won’t be allowed back into the area until it is deemed safe.