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:
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.
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