Floods happen frequently and can cause a lot of damage. Floods are usually caused by heavy rain or thunderstorms. They can cause injury and loss of life, damage property and pollute our water and land.

Floods become dangerous if the water is very deep or travelling very fast or the water has risen very quickly, or if they contain debris like tree branches and sheets of iron.

During a flood

Do not try to walk or drive through flood water.

Move valuable or dangerous items as high as you can off the floor.

Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of emergency services.

Flooding in Selwyn

Lake Ellesmere has flooding potential around the shoreline due to high river flows from the Selwyn River or when the Lake is high due to opening being delayed and a south easterly wind direction. This can impact on lakeside communities such as the Upper and Lower Selwyn Huts and Greenpark.

The district is bounded by two major rivers – the Waimakariri to the north and the Rakaia to the south. Both rivers have high flooding potential especially in lower areas of the Selwyn District. Flooding from the Waimakariri has the potential to affect a wide area of the district between the river and into the Halswell catchment.

The district is also bisected by the Selwyn River which is fed into by the Hororata, Hawkins and Waianiwaniwa Rivers. These three rivers cause localised flooding and disruption to road access.

The Selwyn River has potential to flood areas from Glentunnel to Lake Ellesmere. Areas to be affected include Glentunnel Holiday Camp, farms, farm land and houses down river through Chamberlains and Coes Fords to Lake Ellesmere. Also affected are the communities of Upper and Lower Selwyn Huts. If the Selwyn River breaches out above Dunsandel it has crossed State Highway 1 and entered the Irwell River catchment. The river passes through Brookside and Irwell to Lake Ellesmere.

There is the potential for flooding from the Halswell and Liffey Rivers. These rivers affect the area from the Christchurch City boundary to Lake Ellesmere.