2 Jul 2013

South Island farmers welcome rapid thaw

2:04 pm on 2 July 2013

South Island farmers are enjoying the sight of paddocks emerging from deep snow as a warmer north-westerly wind accelerates the thaw, though the same conditions are causing rivers to run high.

Farmers in parts of Otago and Canterbury were still recovering stock that had been trapped for the best part of two weeks.

Jim MacDonald from Mount Gowrie Station at Clark's Junction, west of Dunedin, said it was good to see the snow melting away.

He said the farm has lost some hoggets, many trees are down, and the snow melt is revealing damage to fences and buildings.

Otago Regional Council has warned that the snow melt in the upper parts of the Pomahaka, Manuherikia, and Taieri catchments and in North Otago, is causing river levels to rise steadily.

It says farmers in those areas should consider moving stock to higher ground.

David Crutchley from Shortland Station in the Dansey's Pass area has had to deal with flooding as well as snow. He finally had his phone lines restored on Monday, a fortnight after losing them through flooding.

Mr Crutchley says despite the deep snow, they've recovered all their stock without any losses, thanks to the quick work of everyone who helped.