Nelson floods

The floods in Nelson from the rain on Wednesday and Thursday are still causing problems. Some roads are still closed including the road to Cable Bay, just 15 minutes east of Nelson. Supplies of food and fresh water were dropped by helicopter; boats also took supplies to the people in Cable Bay.

The heavy rain caused more than 300 slips where mud came down and closed the roads. There are also slips near the pipe which supplies Nelson with fresh water. If a slip falls on the pipe, this could break it and Nelson would have no fresh water. About 50 houses on the hills are in danger from slips; owners had to leave their homes.

Farmers had to move their cows to higher land while they wait for the flood water to disappear. This is a big problem for farmers who have flat land. Dairy cows are producing a lot of milk at this time of year and need grass for feed.

Beaches are closed for swimming and for collecting shellfish.

Passive: “some roads are still closed; supplies … were dropped; beaches are closed” Passive is used when we don’t know who did the action – the action is important not the person who did it.

Note the past tense of “have to” is “had to” (owners had to leave their homes). There is no past tense for “must”. This is another reason for learning to use “have to” instead of “must”. See December 16th grammar notes.

Note the conditional: “If a slip falls …, it could … and Nelson would have …” This is a hypothetical idea i.e. it might or might not happen.

“feed” is a noun as well as a verb.

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