Tuesday , January 19 2021

Bad weather does not move north after it brought snow, torrential rain and washes to the southern island



A front running through torrential rain and snow over much of the South Island is moving over the North Island, but the weather is better.

A key highway between Canterbury and the West Coast was shut down after rains on Thursday and Friday and will be closed on weekends.

The weather also closed several roads and schools in southern Canterbury, Timaru receiving more than average monthly rainfall in less than 48 hours, and Fairlie receiving a decent snow powder.

DELIVERED

Flooded water crosses the highway between Franz Josef and Harihari on the West Coast of the South Island.

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In the midst of the unfavorable weather, Rejoice Stedfast's body was found in the Haupiri River bloated on the West Coast early Friday morning. Strongly, from the Gloriavale community, she was 11 years old and fell into the river when a bank dropped out.

READ MORE: The motorway bridge was washed, students were stuck

A spokesman for MetService said all heavy rains and severe weather warnings were lifted Friday night.

The front that brought severe times to central and southern New Zealand moved north over North Island and gradually weakened.

Sue-Jane and John Leckie, from Melbourne, enjoy a snowball fight at Fairlie. John says the couple

DOUG FIELD / STUFF

Sue-Jane and John Leckie, from Melbourne, enjoy a snowball fight at Fairlie. John says the couple "lives in a desert and never sees the snow."

Meteorologist Ravi Kendule said: "There is a system of high pressure construction in the West, gradually over the course of tomorrow.

"The South Island is largely clean from a rainfall regime to a shower regime, it is still very muddy there, but it will begin to break up tomorrow.

"[The] The North Island will see these two fronts overnight and, once it happens, tomorrow the North Island will begin to clear itself. We may see an afternoon convection around both islands tomorrow afternoon and evening.

"But, essentially, for the next two days after this system passed overnight and tomorrow morning, we look at quite good weather for most of the populated areas."

NICK DEMPSEY

The approach to the Goat Creek Bridge on State Highway 73 was washed off as the West Coast's torrential rain.

HELP IN THE LARGER

The NZ Transport Agency said State 73 would remain closed between Pass Arthur and Jacksons at least until mid-month.

An alternative route is available through the Lewis Pass (SH7). Drivers are advised to take another 90 minutes.

System Manager Pete Connors said the Christmas Bridge was intact, but the Western approach had been washed.

Strong rain caused slopes and damaged parts of the State Highway 73 between Arthur's Step and the West Coast.

NZTA

Strong rain caused slopes and damaged parts of the State Highway 73 between Arthur's Step and the West Coast.

"It is still very much the way it was built. The bridge was built on a curve alongside a rise of the road … The camera angle adds to the optical illusion.

"The stream broke through, and a settlement slab fell, which is exactly what it is designed to do," he said.

Contractors should fill 5,000 cubic meters to build the road again.

Arthur's route was cut off on Friday afternoon, with snow and slides closing SH73 in both directions in the alpine village.

KATE LE COMTE / STUFF

Arthur's route was cut off on Friday afternoon, with snow and slides closing SH73 in both directions in the alpine village.

The rain disappeared early afternoon Friday, but the water level had to go down before the start of the work, Connors said.

LOW-LEVEL SNOW UNUSUAL

Weatherwatch analyst Weatherwatch.co.nz, Aaron Wilkinson, said it is unusual for snowfall at low levels for Canterbury at this time of year.

He said that the snow fell about 300 meters below the expected level of 700 meters above sea level.

"This is most likely caused by a process called evaporation cooling and it happens very rarely."

Wilkinson said that this evaporation cooling process was so rare that it happened only every five years.

Porter Pass (SH73 between Springfield and Pass Arthurs) was closed due to snow. MetService expects the road to be clear until midnight.

Captain Arthur's Pass Cafe and store owner Sean Moran said he started confusing Friday morning.

"It's the best snow I've ever seen throughout the year," he said.

"We had a very bad winter … we have a very good layer everywhere."

Sheep in a paddock south of Fairlie during the snow on Friday.

DOUG FIELD / STUFF

Sheep in a paddock south of Fairlie during the snow on Friday.

SH73 between Arthur's Pass and Jacksons will remain closed on weekends due to slippage, and the next update will be expected at 12:00.

An alternative route is available through the Lewis Pass (SH7). Drivers are advised to take another 90 minutes.

SH6 from Hokitika to Franz Josef was reopened shortly after 16:30.

A NZTA spokesman said that cars should drive with special attention and at safe speeds, as debris and surface flooding still affect many sections of the road.

Temporary speed restrictions and the closing of lanes are in effect along several road areas.

Highway 1 on the Kaikōura coast is open but monitored.

The road was still open at 16:30, but it was subject to weather closure.

"We apologize for the inconveniences it may cause and we ask people to be patient and lead with special attention, and our entrepreneurs are working to re-open the roads," Connors said.

The Waimakariri River level rose on Friday because the region is affected by heavy rainfall.

KIM NUTBROWN / STUFF

The Waimakariri River level rose on Friday because the region is affected by heavy rainfall.

HIGH FLOWERS POWERFUL

The Christchurch Transport Operations Center (CTOC) said there were delays in the Northern Christchurch highway, while drivers were slowing down to look at the Waimakariri River flood Friday morning.

North Canterbury commanders have called on the social media to complain that traffic is in a crawl. A driver said stuff the water level was the highest he had seen in more than 20 years.

The Waimakariri River level is very high at the bridge along State Highway 1 on Friday morning.

CTOC / FURNIZED

The Waimakariri River level is very high at the bridge along State Highway 1 on Friday morning.

A CTOC spokesman said there was no intention of closing any bridge over the Waimakariri River.

"The level of the river is high, but both bridges are perfectly safe."

Waimakariri County Council spokesman Alistair Gray said there was some concern about the river's level, but it began to go on Friday afternoon.

Ana Perham, 13, from Grantlea Downs School, is trying to make a snow angel in Fairlie on Friday.

DOUG FIELD / STUFF

Ana Perham, 13, from Grantlea Downs School, is trying to make a snow angel in Fairlie on Friday.

"As the rain begins to dry, the water level drops. Both bridges are also very fine to use," he said.

No major incidents or major weather complaints were reported in Waimakariri district.

STREET OF SNOW IN MID-CANTERBURY

The snow also hit mid-canterbury around Fairlie, Burkes Pass and Tekapo on Friday.

The Fairlie town is covered by snow on Friday morning.

DOUG FIELD / STUFF

The Fairlie town is covered by snow on Friday morning.

Jenny Pawsey, at Coolgardie Station near Burkes Pass, in the Mackenzie district, said they had a rain of nearly 70 mm Thursday. When she woke up early Friday, she thought the rain stopped. But he looked out the window and saw that the heavy snow had settled.

He headed for Tekapo and said the road was dangerous. He understood that the schools in the area were closed.

The snow is around Hill Castle, Canterbury, on Friday.

JORDAN BRYANT

The snow is around Hill Castle, Canterbury, on Friday.

Lloyd Harwood, a volunteer at the Heartland Information Center, said he started confusion in Fairlie at about 7 am and that he was still down until mid-morning.

"It seems for the last moment, yet," he said.

YOUR CAPITAL IS BETTER SUMMER

Wellington was also cold, gray and totally bleak, but escaped the worst weather.

MetService said the 5.4 mm rain dropped at 16:00 and another 3.3 mm expected to fall before midnight.

The northwest eagles that hit the region earlier on Friday fell, but a severe wind warning remained in force until 20:00.

The Northwests have remained strong in some areas, and strong worms have been possible for a while in exposed places.


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