Winter Storm Information

Latest News & Media Releases

Published: 20 Jul 2017

Significant rainfall has fallen throughout the district causing surface flooding to many roads and affecting some services.

Updated 21/7/2017 22:10

Patiti Point Update

The road extension of South Street down to Patiti Point, Timaru, is currently closed due to erosion of the sea cliff.

State of Emergency Lifted

The state of emergency for the Timaru District has now been lifted, as of 2pm. The Emergency Operations Centre is standing down to close by 3pm. The council is now going back to business as usual. If you have any issues or concerns please contact the council through our main telephone number 03 687 7200. The situation will continue to be monitored and there is an emergency response team on standby.

Status Update 1.00pm

The people evacuated from at risk areas have returned to their homes. The Civil Defence Centres in the Timaru District have closed.

The Environment Canterbury Flood Room is in the process of standing down.

Roads are still being assessed. State Highway 1 is open South from Timaru to Glenavy. The road between Fairlie and Geraldine is open but there is some road damage. There is no road access North of Rakaia. Please refer to this link for more information;

Precautionary boil water notices remain in place for Te Moana, Seadown, Rangitata Huts, Downlands Water Scheme including Pareora and St Andrews. Please refer to information below for instructions.

There are 100 households with no power in Pleasant Point due to a power pole catching fire. Alpine Energy is responding to this. Please refer to this link for more information;

There have been three houses in the Redruth area and seven business premises in Washdyke that have been flooded. There has been subsidence in a property in Douglas Street, Timaru.

Return to evacuated areas

Residents who have evacuated form affected areas are now able to return, taking care on all access ways. This includes Blandswood, Waipopo huts, Rangitata huts, Milford huts and Stratheona huts.

Boil Water notice 12.00pm

Update: The current situation is that rain has eased and rivers are going down, EOC is now moving from a response to a recovery phase.

Boil water notices have been issued for the Council water supply schemes: Te Moana, Seadown, Rangitata Huts, Downlands Water Scheme including Pareora and St Andrews. If you live in these areas:

  • Bringing water to the boil is sufficient to kill bugs.
  • Boil or treat all water from taps before drinking, brushing teeth or using in food preparation e.g. washing vegetables, fruit, and salads
  • Boil water first if using espresso machines as these may not heat water adequately
  • If you cannot boil water, treat it by adding 1 teaspoon of household bleach per 10 litres of water and leave for 30 minutes.
  • Water needs to be boiled even if the smell or taste of chlorine is present.

For food premises in these areas:

  • Boil or treat all water from taps before drinking, including jugged water or ice, or using in food preparation e.g. washing vegetables, fruit, and salads
  • Boil water first if using espresso machines as these may not heat water adequately

Check on your neighbours, family and friends

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially from your family or neighbours.
  • Keep an eye out for each other, particularly if there are vulnerable people (e.g. the elderly, disabled or unwell) in your neighbourhood.


If there is visible sewage on your property please stay away from it and contact Timaru District Council 687 7200

All consumers on Council water supply schemes should conserve water.

Most main roads within the district are now open however some surface flooding remains along with debris and fallen trees. Essential travel only and extreme care when travelling is advised.

Pleasant Point, Geraldine and Temuka: Conserve water notice 8:40am

Pleasant Point, Temuka and Geraldine residents are urged to conserve water while local water supplies are checked. Further information will be available after 9:30.

Status Update 07.30

The threat from the rivers across the Timaru District has eased.

Figures from Ecan are showing that all the rivers in the district, bar the Opihi, have now peaked, which means that any imminent threat is reduced as the water recedes.

The New Zealand Defence Force are undertaking patrols of the evacuated and high risk areas and are supporting St John to access hard to reach patients.

Surface flooding levels are beginning to drop as the rain eases, but road conditions remain challenging so please only travel if it is necessary.

Roads are being assessed during the morning with updates published here or on TImaru District Council's Facebook page. Refer to for State Highway information.

Residents can return to Redruth-Saltwater Creek area 06:30am

Those residents who have evacuated from properties in the Redruth-Saltwater Creek area at the south of Timaru are advised that is now safe to return home following a fall in water levels.
Please drive carefully and check your property. Continue to monitor Council website, Facebook page or Port FM for any updates.

Civil Defence Centres

Self evacuation areas

Residents in the following low lying areas have been advised to self evacuate. If you feel unsafe, evacuate immediately without waiting for notification.

  • Butlers Huts
  • Milford Huts
  • Stratheona Huts
  • Saltwater Creek - Redruth Area - NO LONGER IN EFFECT, NO EVACUATION REQUIRED

If you are not in these areas and you feel unsafe or feel unsure you can choose to evacuate.

Map showing affected areas in the Timaru and surrounding areas click here

State Highway Access

Before you travel you are advised to check the NZTA website for road conditions.NZTA website

State of emergency declared

A state of emergency in the Timaru District now exists due to the significant rainfall in low-lying areas leading to surface flooding, with the risk of rising river levels.

River levels are expected to rise significantly over the next few hours. Any residents in flood-prone areas should prepare for evacuation at short notice. If you feel unsafe, evacuate immediately without waiting for notification.

Emergency services will be checking all at-risk areas and working to help evacuate any properties deemed at risk. All directions issued by emergency services personnel must be complied with.

A number of roads in low-lying areas are now closed and non-essential travel should be avoided.

For further information please monitor the Timaru District Council website and Facebook page

Flood prone areas should prepare to evacuate

People in places prone to flooding should be making preparations to evacuate.

The Timaru Civil Defence Emergency operations centre is advising all residents in flood prone areas to get everything they need together to evacuate their homes quickly.

EOC Controller Justin Bagust said that people in particularly flood prone areas should now be making preparations in case they have to evacuate at short notice.

“We would strongly advise people in these areas to get themselves prepared to leave as soon as they feel at risk, not to wait for any official notification.

“This is a quickly developing situation and people need to be ready to go. This means ensuring you have clothes and fuel, as well as things such as knowing where family pets are.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation to ensure people have notification, but our strong message is that if people feel at risk at the moment they should evacuate themselves to friends or family.”

Please drive to the conditions, watch out for flooding and take extreme care when using fords and rural roads.

  • Please ensure garden furniture, trampolines and other objects are secured.
  • You may want to check your gutters are clear.
  • We're currently checking and clearing our storm drains. If you see any significant blockages, ring us on 03 687 7200 or use the SNAP, SEND, SOLVE app.
  • Timaru Civil Defence civil defence team has activated and is monitoring the situation.
  • Live updates here and on our facebook page:

Get Ready Get Thru pages for Storms and Flood

Map showing road closures at 7am, Sat 22/7/2017

Click on the link to open a district map showing all closed road sections in red.

Please drive to the conditions. There is significant surface flooding over the entire network, as well as high running fords in rural areas. Please do not take any unnecessary risks.

We have crews out responding to issues, but they can't sign every spot, so please take care.

Please allow extra time to stop at intersections and increase following distances.

It will be updated live as roads open and close.

Road Closures - Due to surface flooding:

-Washdyke Flat Rd
-Kellands Hill Rd
-Spur Rd
-Station Rd
-Centennial Park Road
-Cartwrights road
-Rosewill Valley road – Wansdyke flat rod to cartwrights road.
-Badham Road – from Orton Rangiatata to Rangiatata Island Road
-Douglas Street – closed at #100
-John Talbot
-Scenic reserve
-Old North RD – Jellicoe Rd to SH1
-Blair St – Old North Rd to SH1
-Falveys Rd
-Kerrytown Rd
-Bassett Rd – between Rolling Ridges and Rosewill Valley roads
-Cartwrights Rd
-Naughton Rd
-Sercome Rd Geraldine Barkers Stream bridge washed out
-Arowhenua Road
-Rolleston road
-Orton-Rangitata Mouth Road

Ford Closures – Due To Fords Being Impossible
-Omelvena Rd
-Goodwin Rd
-Bassett Rd
-Brockley Rd
-Casey Rd
-Seadown Rd near The Shearers Quarters
-Ambler Rd

Fallen Trees
-Dominion Road - Closed due to the risk of falling trees
-John Talbot Rd – Alpine Energy responding because involves power lines
-Smart Munro Rd near SH8 partially blocking the road – responding but power lines involved
-Beaconsfield Rd near the crematorium – Fire Service responding
-Rosebrook Rd – responding

Surface Flooding
-Tiplady RD/Route 72/ Coach Rd
-Agnew Rd
-Rosewill Valley Rd
-Brockley Rd
-Rockdale Rd
-Waipopo Rd
-Falvey Rd
-Woodbury Rd
-Waitohi Pleasant Point Rd
-Waitohi Temuka Rd
-Route 72 Orari Bridge to Arundel
-Winchester Hanging Rock Rd
-Earl Rd
-Seven Sisters Rd
-Kellands Hill Rd
-Route 72 2km east of Geraldine
-Levels Plain Rd
-Arowhenua Rd
-Ambler Rd
-King St, Pareora
-Rise Rd
-Taiko Valley Rd
-Smart Munro Rd/Doake Rd intersection
-Route 72 at Coopers Creek

This is a significant weather event and the combination of heavy rain and strong winds is expected to cause widespread disruption to transport, localised flooding and slips.

A deep low lies slow moving just off the coast of Marlborough and north Canterbury today, directing a strong and moist southeast flow across the South Island.

Heavy rain is now falling over parts of Canterbury and is expected to sink southwards into eastern Otago during this morning. The heaviest falls are expected in Canterbury south of the Rakaia River and eastern Otago where up to 200mm of rain could accumulate. 

Heavy snow is expected above about 600 metres for Central Otago and northern parts of Southland, and about the south Canterbury High Country above about 800 metres from tonight, and 20cm or more may accumulate in these places above these levels.

FORECAST· Rain is expected to become heavy Friday morning and ease Saturday morning.In the 33 hour period from 3am Friday to midday Saturday, expect 140 to 180mm of rain to accumulate. Peak intensities of 10 to 15mm per hour at times on Friday. FREEZING LEVEL: About 2000 metres, lowering to 1100 metres Friday evening.

MetService Weather Warning and Watch (Warning for rain) (Watch for wind)

There are outages reported on the Alpine Energy network see

What to do if a power line is down

Never touch, move, or go near any kind of downed or hanging line. Always treat lines as being live at all times. Going near it could cause serious injury or electrocution. Call us immediately on 03 687 4300 or 0800 66 1177

What to do if a power line falls on a vehicle

If a power line falls on a vehicle, the vehicle may be alive and anyone that touches or tries to leave or reach the vehicle could be electrocuted. You should stay in the vehicle until the line has been made safe.  If you do have to get out, jump as far away as possible keeping both feet together as you land.

NEVER touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.

Outages are reported in real time at

No problems reported currently.

We may need to issue a boil water notice in Temuka, Geraldine in Pleasant Point depending on river flows. Please stand by for info.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021