Flooding and highway closures - Monday lunchtime Canterbury


With rain lessening in mid and south Canterbury, flood waters on roads are expected to recede in these areas later today, says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

“The Selwyn River/ Waikirikiri deep flooding on SH1 at Dunsandel means this highway link south of Christchurch is unlikely to open today.

”In north Canterbury rain is continuing and we have a number of areas we need to assess, for example SH73, Porter’s Pass to the West Coast , which will remain closed. 

“Engineers are assessing the two Kowai River bridges and Porter River bridge approaches on SH73 today, and there is a lot of river shingle covering this highway which needs to be shifted before it can reopen.

“The Lewis Pass via Waipara, SH7, the other route linking Canterbury and the West coast, is open.”

People are best advised to avoid travel in Canterbury today given the still changing situation, she says. “Check our traffic and travel map and South Island Facebook page before you head out if you have to do so.

“Many local roads are also under water, so your local council’s Facebook pages and Emergency Management pages are the best places to check.”

A summary of closed highways in Canterbury as at lunchtime today:

  • SH73 Darfield to Castle Hill – slips, flooding, bridge approaches washed out in three places, shingle coating the road for 100 metres and one metre thick between Lake Lyndon and Porter River.
  • SH77, the inland route Darfield to the Rakaia Gorge – slips and flooding.
  • SH75 the Akaroa highway – closed from Barrys Bay to Birdlings Flat.
  • SH1, south of Christchurch – closed at the Selwyn River/ Waikirikiri, Dunsandel. Water a metre deep over the road at this point and not dropping currently.
  • SH1 closed several places through mid to south Canterbury – Hinds to Temuka, water 600 mm deep north of the Hinds River bridge. 
  • SH77 Methven to Windwhistle and Darfield - the inland scenic route – closed due to flooding several places.
  • SH79 Rangitata to Fairlie and Geraldine – flooded in several places.
  • SH8 Fairlie to Tekapo via Burkes Pass, closed due to flooding.

River watches

Ms Forrester noted that crews are watching the Ashburton, Hinds, Orari and Opihi Rivers closely as all are at high levels around bridges. Generally, south of Timaru there are fewer issues.

Hurunui area watch

The Hurunui area and bridges over the Hurunui River are also being watched given the ongoing rain in North Canterbury and the current reliance upon SH7 the Lewis Pass.

Traffic map (external link)

Facebook pages:

https://www.facebook.com/HurunuiDistrictCouncil/(external link)

https://www.facebook.com/WaimakaririDistrictCouncil/(external link)

https://www.facebook.com/ChristchurchCityCouncil/(external link)

https://www.facebook.com/AshburtonDC/(external link)

https://www.facebook.com/TimaruDC/(external link)

Current situation as at midday Monday 31 May(external link) 

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