City braces for Gita

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has declared a state of emergency for the city, saying some homes are at a high risk of flooding over the next day.

Ms Dalziel said the state of emergency for Christchurch City, which includes Banks Peninsula, gave people early warning to prepare.

“The full impact of the storm will be felt overnight and tomorrow morning (today),” Ms Dalziel said.

“We are expecting homes to be flooded. If you are in a flood-prone area, particularly if your home was flooded, or close to flooding, in the July storm last year, you should consider evacuation before the worst of the storm hits tonight.

“We think it’s better people make preparations while it is still light, and ahead of road closures, to allow them to get out if they wish.

“Part of Clarendon Terrace has been closed already, and we expect further streets to close over the course of the afternoon and evening.

“These will not reopen until the risk of flooding has gone.” The council said flood warning signs were also in place at the Sheldon and Tavender streets intersections. It said people who lived in low-lying areas, whose homes have flooded in the past, should be prepared to self-evacuate this afternoon.

The council said if there was an evacuation, it would open up Pioneer Stadium for people leaving their homes.

Meanwhile in the neighbouring Selwyn District, the Chamberlains, Coes and Whitecliffs campgrounds closed yesterday at 6pm because of the heavy rain and wind predicted.

The Selwyn District Council said campers should make alternative accommodation arrangements before then.

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