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Timaru battered with more rain today than in typical July month, but no mass-evacuation yet

Civil Defence is holding off on a mass evacuation of Timaru, despite the city being battered with more rain in the last eight hours than during a typical July month.

Raging floods have closed highways across the city and broader district.

In eight hours today, Timaru collected 54 millimetres of rain. The average July rainfall for Timaru is 43.7 millimetres.

A State of Emergency has been declared in the drowning South Canterbury town. Source: Supplied

Civil Defence public information manager Stephen Doren said despite there being no mass evacuation of the district yet, they are recommending residents in low lying areas self-evacuate if they feel at risk from flooding.

"We don't have major scale evacuations at the moment but we are monitoring the situation," Mr Doren said.

"But we have asked a handful of people living in fishing huts, holiday houses, around Milford to evacuate, and some people in rural areas are also self-evacuating. 

"It's lots to do with river levels in the mountains and we're just keeping an eye on that.

"The roads are mucky and there's lots of surface flooding."

The adjacent district to Timaru, Asburton, has also has received more rain today than it does in a typical July month.

The average July rainfall in Ashburton is 64 millimetres and today the amount of rain to fall in the district between 6am to 4pm today has been 76 millimetres.

However, Civil Defence controller for Ashburton District Council Terry O'Neill said there has been no state of emergency announced for Ashburton and no evacuations required from their agency.

"We've got nothing wide-scale from properties being threatened, it's not like the low-lying settlements in South Canterbury" Mr O'Neill said.

"We're most concerned with people ignoring road closures.

"It's a real mess with all the surface flooding and it's really hard from a logistics point of view to close all the roads."

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