3 Nov 2022

West Coast 'not entirely out of the woods' after heavy rain overnight

10:17 am on 3 November 2022
The MetService rain radar 2 November just before 8pm/

The MetService rain radar 2 November just before 8pm. Photo:

Heavy rain fell in the South Island's west coast overnight and region isn't out of the woods yet with more rain on the way, Civil Defence warns.

West Coast emergency management group manager Claire Brown told Morning Report there were some slips, local road closures, and river alerts overnight.

The Cropp River saw 558mm of rain in a 24-hour period.

"It's looking good at the moment, we've had a very intense period of rain over the night...at the moment things are looking good."

Everyone had done a good job to prepare for the weather, she said.

"Obviously we're not entirely out of the woods at the moment, we still have a bit of weather yet into the morning and around lunchtime."

People were asked to take care moving around the region on Thursday morning.

State Highway 67 north of Westport to Mōkihinui and State Highway 73 between Arthur's Pass and Kumara have reopened following heavy rain.

Canterbury drivers should still be mindful of strong winds picking up again between Springfield and Arthur's Pass, Waka Kotahi said.

After a "very wet 24 hours", Buller mayor Jamie Cleine told Morning Report it felt like the worst of the rain was over.

"The forecast looks like it played out exactly how [MetService] predicted really, there's certainly been some surface flooding around town, a road closure in northern Buller ... but other than that no major problems I don't think."

Northern Buller was a frequent issue area, with roads closing quite frequently during weather events, Cleine said.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, the Buller River got to its first alarm.

While the river level was "reasonably high" it was well below the level that would trigger concern, he said.

Buller Emergency Management was not expecting any ongoing major river level rises throughout the rest of the day.

Farmers had good warning for weather conditions, Cleine said, and things were undercontrol though wet on farms.

"The orange warning just escalates everyone's level of anxiety I guess, certainly after what Buller's been through the last 18 months but that's what the science is there for and we certainly share the intel we had and it's been pretty accurate this time."

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