5 Dec 2018

Heavy rain disrupting lower South Island

6:26 pm on 5 December 2018

Hundreds of Otago residents are without power after wild weather hit the lower South Island today.

heavy rain

heavy rain Photo: 123RF

About 385 households at Taiaroa Head and nine at Taieri Mouth have been without power since this morning.

Aurora Energy said a response crew is on the ground repairing the fault and power is expected to be restored by 6pm this evening.

It said all lines and electrical equipment should be treated as live at all times.

Meanwhile speed restrictions have been issued for several Southland roads because of flooding.

The NZTA said 30 km/ph restrictions are in place for State Highways 94 and 6 near Lumsden.

Other roads impacted include State Highway 96 between Mataura and Winton and State Highway 97 near Acton and between Five Rivers and Mossburn.

The weather has been welcomed by Southland farmers, who are likely to benefit from the rainfall hitting the region this week.

More than 80 millimetres fell on the Hokonui Forest in the past 24 hours with other areas receiving closer to 50 millimetres.

Federated Farmers Southland provincial president Geoffrey Young said the rain is helping to set them up for the summer.

Last summer, drought was officially declared and some farmers were forced to sell of stock or truck in feed due to a lack of grass.

Mr Young said he expects abundant grass growth until mid January after the rain.