9 Dec 2019

Weather: Timaru still in state of emergency after flooding

From Morning Report, 6:10 am on 9 December 2019

Residents in the South Island are picking up the pieces after a wild weekend of weather. Heavy rain battered much of the West Coast since Friday, causing major slips on a 350 kilometre stretch of State Highway 6 between Hokitika and Haast.

Nearly 1000 people are stranded in Franz Josef after heavy rain cut access to the small town.

The worst of the damage is near Harihari and Whataroa, where Mount Hercules has come down in multiple slips.

The Timaru District remains in a state of emergency with road access north to Christchurch blocked by damage to the only two bridges crossing the Rangitata River.

Hundred of tourists were left scrambling to find accommodation in the region last night.

RNZ reporter Tess Brunton is at the Southern Trust Events Centre in Timaru where many people have been spending the night.