Westport emerges from floodwaters
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 7:02a.m.
Westport is no longer totally cut off, but one of its major routes is still closed following heavy rain at the weekend.
Serious flooding in the lower Buller Gorge has closed State Highway 6 between Westport and Inangahua since Sunday.
SH6 from Westport to Greymouth has now reopened, but a slip has closed SH73 between Arthur's Pass and Springfield, meaning a longer trip for those heading for Nelson or Christchurch.
A call will be made on Monday at 8am as to whether the two sections of road can reopen.
Over the weekend, the Buller River was close to breaching its banks on the Westport side and there was concern that continued rain might lead to more serious flooding. At least one homeowner had been evacuated, near Carters Beach west of Westport.
However, police and the Fire Service on Monday morning said there were no reports of problems on Sunday night.
Westport is particularly vulnerable to flooding because it is on the flood plain between the Buller River and the Orowaiti Estuary, an old channel of the river that carries a substantial flow during deluges.
The Buller rose to 11.3m on Sunday, just off its recorded 1970 high of 11.8m, but had dropped to below 3m on Monday morning.
The storm also caused minor flooding in Murchison, Nelson and Golden Bay.
Five homes in Murchison had been inundated and the Takaka River had risen over the Waitapu Bridge, closing the Takaka-Collingwood highway.
The MetService is forecasting occasional showers for Buller on Monday. The heavy rain weather is moving on to the North Island.
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16/07/2012 8:36:13 a.m.
william calder wrote:
i have previously ln Westport and also was born in Greymouth 75 years ago and spent my youth there. weather on the coast has changed marketly in my life time.It seems that the weather on the coast has came full circle.I have seen the grey burst it's banks flooding the town on many occasions.To my knowledge this is the first time i have seen this phenomen at Westport I .expect it will become more frequent ss climate change becomes more prevalent in the south pacific an the Tasman sea
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