5 Jan 2021

Waitaki District flooding: Clean-up underway

9:15 am on 5 January 2021

Farmers in the Waitaki District, which was inundated with heavy rain at the weekend, remain in clean-up mode today.

Flooding in Waitaki.

Flooding in Waitaki. Photo: Facebook / Waitaki District Council

Parts of the region were battered by torrential rain on Saturday, flooding streets and closing roads.

Campers at the Otematata River had to be evacuated as the river threatened to break the flood bank.

Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher said it's been a mixed bag for farmers in the district.

"Some are happy they got rain because it was getting very, very dry, but others have had land completely inundated so they have a bit of a clean-up on their hands," Kircher said.

"I haven't heard any reports of stock loss, there was plenty of warning of the rain coming so farmers were able to move stock in time."

Log jam at the Kakanui River rail bridge.

Log jam at the Kakanui River rail bridge. Photo: Facebook / Waitaki District Council

He said farmers and council contractors were getting on with the clean-up.

"Contractors have been out in droves doing jobs that can be done straight away but we still have some things awaiting assessment.

"It could be some time before certain things like some of the roads are fixed, as well as some of the rivers where trees are built up against a bridge they need to be cleared out - that's not a one day job."

Kircher said he had seen summer downpours before but nothing this bad.

"We've had summer floods before but they tend to be more localised, this was all across the region and obviously coming in peak holiday time it affected a lot of holidaymakers."