Get ready for possible storms, heavy rain

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Published: 23 Nov 2018

Residents across Timaru District are being asked to ensure they take the opportunity of a calm day to ensure they are prepared for the possibility of storms and heavy rain this weekend.

Major storms affect broad areas, are accompanied by heavy rain and/or strong winds, and last for a few days.

Heavy rain associated with major storms is usually less intense, but much more widespread than it is with thunderstorms. Therefore, rises in river levels and the onset of flooding brought about by widespread heavy rain tend to be slower but also longer-lasting.

A large low pressure system sitting over the Tasman Sea is being forecast by MetService to bring significant rainfall over the weekend, which may have significant effects.


  • Surface flooding has subsided but the ground remains saturated and further rain could cause local flooding and slips.
  • Be aware of surface conditions especially when driving or undertaking outside activity.
  • Care should be taken near riverbanks which may be unstable.
  • Trees in saturated areas could be unstable, care should be taken in areas where trees could fall over due to weakened soil or winds.


  • Please prepare to curtail any transport plans if the weather gets worse.
  • Significant surface flooding can be expected following any rain. The ground is fairly saturated so this will happen quicker than normal.
  • Fords will be likely to rise quickly, so please ensure that you know of alternative routes or make preparations to be stuck in place for a time.


  • Heavy rain can increase the turbidity (levels of mud and gravel) in our water sources, which can lead to boil water notices put in place, even in our major towns.
  • Everyone should ensure they have a few days water supply for everyone in their household in a sealed container. Take the opportunity now to fill a container.
  • If a boil water notice is put in place, all water used for drinking and cooking will need to be boiled for a full minute before consumption. So preparation now can save you problems later.


  • Please be aware that river levels may rise quickly, if you live or farm in a flood prone area you should have plans in place to evacuate at short notice. Stock should be moved to higher pastures where possible.

The Timaru District Civil Defence Emergency Management is on standby over the weekend and will be activated if weather conditions decline. The team at Environment Canterbury are monitoring river levels.

In an emergency situation, updates will be available on the council website and facebook page.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021