14 Sep 2021

Fallen trees pose more headaches for flood-hit farmers

12:13 pm on 14 September 2021

A Mid-Canterbury farmer says it could take weeks to clean up the nearly 100 trees which fell on their property due to high winds.

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Some of the trees that toppled on Rebecca Miller's farm south of Ashburton. Photo: Supplied / Rebecca Miller

The region was battered with strong winds last Thursday and then again on Sunday night.

Rebecca Miller is a sharemilker in Ealing just south of Ashburton.

She said well established trees that were over 70 years old were brought down.

"It was quite scary, the whole house was rocking with the thunder and lightning as well as the wind, the kids were a bit scared.

"There are a lot of trees down around the house.

"We've had to come into Ashburton to get a bigger chainsaw to cut them all up."

She said down the road from their farm a whole forestry plantation had been blown over, which had knocked out the power.

Miller said it was a relief their house wasn't damaged but they have had issues getting to their stock.

"After the first wind we had to clear that within a day because we had stock down on about six hectares that needed feeding, but with the other wind on Sunday there's more trees down so we have to clear it again to get to them."

She said neighbouring farms also suffered damage with some losing their pivot irrigators.

"As we drove into Ashburton we've seen a few pivots that have been blown over so they will take a while to repair in order to get them back up and running."

Mid-Canterbury Federated Farmers president David Clark said the wind on Sunday was not as bad as forecast but the damage to pivots is a worry.

He said there are limited parts in the country and with shipping delays it could be months before farmers would be able to do repairs.

Ashburton dairy farmer Chris Ford said he was able to keep his pivot upright by stropping it to his tractor and truck.

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Photo: Supplied / Chris Ford

Miller said the strong winds have created more work for farmers in Canterbury still in clean up mode after the May flood.

She said it's important people remember to check in with their neighbours.

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