State of emergency called for Nelson, West Coast as bad weather batters South Island

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

The South Island's weather battering has forced a state of local emergency for the Nelson Tasman and West Coast regions.

Heavy rain has meant the Maitai River in Nelson East has had its banks breached, and people who live near the river from the Nile St Bridge to the golf course are being told to evacuate.

A Facebook post from the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence has also said residents in Teal Valley, Wakapouaka may need to evacuate too. Nelson Tasman Civil Defence is also going door to door to evacuate affected people. 

If people in Nelson do not have a safe place to go, they are advised to head to the Saxton Stadium for assistance.

Slips are occurring in many places, including Ports Hill/State Highway 6 and in Atawhai, and stormwater/wastewater outlets are overflowing as the heavy rainfall continues.

Parts of Westport are also being advised to self-evacuate today, as the Buller River is expected to peak tomorrow morning. Buller Civil Defence is advising residents in the Orowaiti Overflow area (Snodgrass), Forbes and Coates Streets, and the Gladstone Street area of Westport to self-evacuate today.

Westport has a red heavy rain warning expected to last until tomorrow around 7pm, Thursday, August 18. Westland also has the same level of weather warning, expected to last until 5pm the same day.

Nelson has an orange heavy rain warning which is expected to last until 11pm tomorrow, Thursday, August 18. 

More to come.