Weather: Ashburton bridge closed from flooding, no alternate route south

The Ashburton bridge is closed after becoming compromised from severe weather.

The Ashburton District Council made the announcement on Tuesday morning after days of heavy rain lead to flooding.

Located on State Highway 1, it is the main bridge across the Ashburton River, and an issue with piles has caused the bridge to start slumping.

There is currently no alternate route south as all other road options are closed, a council spokesperson said.

“Council contractors continue to investigate road conditions and will provide updates when available.”

Two to three months of rain has pelted Canterbury in the space of a few days in a deluge that has been labelled a one-in-100-year event.

Local authorities across Canterbury evacuated more than 300 properties amid wild weather that forced hundreds of residents to flee raging floodwaters threatening their homes.

Ashburton was one of the worst-hit areas, according to figures from Niwa, nearby Lismore received 238mm of rain in 2.2 days — the same amount it experienced in the previous 187 days.

Ten state highways were closed, while other roads were ruined and four bridges washed away.

A rare “red warning” was issued by MetService late last week, just the second time such a warning had been put out by the authority.

The red warning between Geraldine and Amberley lifted at 7pm last night but an orange warning from Amberley to Kaikōura was due to lift at midnight.

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