Floods in South Island

The rain storm which caused flooding in many places on Friday and Saturday, affected only the east coast of the South Island. Farmers had to deal with flooded paddocks. They had to move animals to higher parts of their farms if that was possible. Some animals drowned.

Rivers broke their banks in Timaru and Oamaru. Some houses were flooded and people were evacuated. The Heathcote River in Christchurch also flooded across the road and into a few houses. After the water has gone from a house, it is a very unpleasant job to clear away the mud and try to dry out the house. Although the sun came out for a time today, it did not have much warmth. It will take a long time for everything to dry.

State Highway 1 between Timaru and Oamaru was closed yesterday. This is the main highway between Christchurch and Dunedin. Although there was a detour, that added many more kilometres to the trip and more time.

It was surprising to see pictures on television of the Selwyn River in flood with a huge amount of water flowing down the river. The Selwyn has been so dry this year, that fish have been taken out of the Selwyn and transferred to other rivers. Perhaps there is a silver lining to the flood.


• drowned (v) – died in the water
• evacuated (v, often passive) – told to move to a safe place
• detour (n) – a longer route around the closed roads; it is temporary, while the main road is closed
• “every cloud has a silver lining” – proverb. Can you guess the meaning? Do you have a similar proverb in your language?


Flood rhymes with mud; blood is spelt and pronounced like flood
Note the other words from flood (v,n) – flooding, flooded

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