100 evacuations in Nelson overnight as heavy rain continues

August 20, 2022

Around 100 evacuations were carried out in the Nelson Tasman region overnight, as more rain is expected for the region until Saturday morning.

Nelson Tasman Civil Defence says 570 evacuations have been carried out in the Nelson region - 100 of them overnight - and "that looks set to increase even more".

"We have just come through the worst of the rain overnight, but there is much more to do to ensure people are safe to return home," Nelson Tasman Civil Defence said.

As of Saturday afternoon, some people who had been evacuated earlier this week have been allowed to return home.

Richmond resident Peter Leathley told 1News he and his family had an early start to the morning after hearing a knock on the window at 5am "just saying that everyone’s evacuating".

“We looked outside and then our front yard was just covered in water," he said.

“Then we saw a huge stream coming down the driveway and yeah, that was pretty much our wake-up.”

Flooding at a playground in Easby Park in Richmond, south of Nelson.

Leathley said he grabbed his kids, a bag of supplies and several days worth of clothes before heading to his sister's home further up the road.

He said it was an "unreal" experience seeing "just the flow of water coming through some of these neighbouring properties".

"I’ve never experienced anything like it.

“You really feel for what’s happening in Nelson and you just think ‘how fortunate are we to escape something like that’ in this full-on weather and then you wake up and it’s right in your backyard so yeah, unbelievable.”

Despite the heavy rain and the prospect of a mammoth clean-up, three local children took the time to have fun kayaking down their flooded street in Brightwater, Tasman.

Their mother told 1News they were all safe and scrubbed up afterwards.

Zenon, Antek and Monty playing in their flooded street in Brightwater, Tasman.

Meanwhile, the road between Takaka and Collingwood is blocked as a large slip on Birds Hill, in Golden Bay, is expected to take time to clear.

Takaka Hill Road is potentially closed, but it is to too unsafe for contractors to check at this stage, Civil Defence said. The road is also blocked on the Takaka Valley by Lindsays Bridge.

There is also extensive damage following a slip on Cable Bay Road, in Cable Bay. One resident told 1News her home was 'red stickered' after slips "undermined the house", leaving them "unable to get back in".

There is also potential for slipping to occur on the Cannan Hill due to the amount of rain.

READ MORE: Nelson residents worry about 'mind-boggling' flood damage

It comes as heavy rain battered parts of the country this week.

A slow-moving complex trough of low pressure, preceded by a moist northerly flow, is expected to move slowly eastwards across the country overnight and on Saturday morning, MetService said.

A red Heavy Rain Warning for Nelson is no longer in force.

A further 50 to 90 mm of rain was recorded overnight across the Nelson, Tasman Marlborough and Taranaki districts, MetService said.

"Some high elevation stations even measured over 100 mm since midnight - a lot of rain to fall on top what has already fallen."

Meanwhile, Nelson residents have been advised by Nelson Tasman Civil Defence to conserve water "wherever possible".

"The water supply to the water treatment plant has been damaged and is operating at a lower capacity than normal," Nelson Tasman Civil Defence said on Saturday morning.

"To maintain Nelson's drinking water, some areas of Stoke will receive water from the Richmond water supply.

"Changes are also being made to the water network throughout Nelson city to help reduce demand, so residents may notice a reduction in their water pressure."

The heavy rain may lead to further surface flooding and slips.

Up to date information on the weather can be found here.