Evacuations ordered in Timaru District as flooding worsens

Evacuations have been ordered by Civil Defence in Timaru District due to flooding, as a state of emergency remains in place.

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The flooding has closed State Highway 1, leading to a state of emergency being declared. Source: 1 NEWS

The Timaru Distrct Council confirmed the areas to be evacuated in a post on Facebook around 3pm this afternoon. 

Source: Supplied

State Highway 1 at the Rangitata Bridge and the State Highway 72 bridge, Dip Road, and Ferry Road in Arundel, and Burnham Road and Badham Road in Rangitata, remain closed.

The Rangitata River was at one point flowing at around 2140 cumecs at the gorge recorder, Timaru Civil Defence said in a statement.

The flow may reach its highest peak in the last 20 years.

Civil Defence Information Centres are currently being set up in Geraldine and Temuka.

Extreme flows expected later today will increase outflows into areas already hit by flooding, as well as increase the chance of issues developing in other parts of the river.

A map displaying road closures following flooding in the Rangitata and Arundel area. Source: Facebook / Timaru District Council

The extended period of very high flows is expected to significantly increase the risk of further bank erosion and breakout flows, according to Civil Defence.

Landowners with stock in low-lying areas have been advised to shift stock to higher ground as river flow patterns can change quickly.

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