A powerful storm system dumped very heavy rain on New Zealand’s South Island on Friday, July 21, 2017 into July 22, causing widespread flooding. By 08:00 UTC today, 4 areas declared states of emergency – Christchurch, Dunedin, Timaru and Otago. Weather stations in some areas recorded more than 220 mm (8.7 inches) of rain within 24 hours, more than twice the July average. The very deep low which brought this heavy rain and strong winds across much of New Zealand moved east of the North Island by late Saturday (local time), and should continue moving away to the east into Sunday. Another front is expected to start affecting the country on Monday, followed by yet another on Wednesday, July 26.
Christchurch declared a state of emergency Saturday morning, July 22, 2017, after Heathcote River burst its banks Friday, thus becoming the fourth area to do so within 24 hours as a powerful storm marched through the region.