Snowy Canterbury

Yesterday, it snowed all day in most of Canterbury. It was wet, heavy snow which broke branches off trees. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens closed because of the danger of falling branches. The University of Canterbury, Lincoln University and CPIT also closed. Many schools closed yesterday and did not open today or opened later than usual.

This morning, it was also dangerous on the roads because of ice. In Christchurch the frost was -6 degrees but some inland places had -11 degrees. Although the sun came out today, the temperature was only 5 degrees so not much snow melted. Frozen snow is icy and difficult for walking or driving.

About 1700 homes in Canterbury lost electricity because heavy snow on power lines brought the lines down. Still today, some houses have no electricity. This is especially a problem in rural areas where roads are still covered with snow and it is hard for workers to drive to these places. Some rural areas in inland Canterbury had about 30cm of snow.

Main roads through Arthurs Pass and Lewis Pass, from Christchurch to the West Coast, are closed.

Snow is not common in Canterbury so councils do not have snow ploughs to clear roads.


• brought the lines down – made them fall down
• it is hard for workers to … (it is difficult / easy for X to …)
• inland places – areas not near the coast
• ice (n), icy (adj); snow (n and v), snowy (adj) (wind (n), windy (adj); rain (n and v), rainy (adj); freeze (v); frozen (adj))

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