Weather: South Island lashed by third big weather event in two weeks

The South Island has once again been lashed by extreme weather, wild wind, rain and snow. 

Travellers were stranded by closed roads, a state of emergency was declared in Timaru with evacuations overnight, while torrential rain caused widespread flooding and power outages in Christchurch.

Yet another night of wild weather in the South Island meant parts of Christchurch woke up underwater.

"My whole car is full of water but we managed to push it up onto the driveway," one resident said.

Rivers replaced where roads were and many homes narrowly avoided serious flooding.

Large slips closed roads and power was cut to hundreds of Canterbury homes.

Timaru woke to blue skies after a state of emergency was declared in the south of the town on Wednesday night, with mandatory evacuations to a small settlement following torrential rain.

"Best case scenario it isolates that community, cuts it off, worst case scenario those properties will be subject to water damage and the water might flow through there," Civil Defence local controller Paul Cooper said.

But some residents tried to break the cordon to get back into their homes.

"We didn't want to be in a position that if the riverbank breached and we ended up with massive flooding that we would have to go in there and rescue them and put our emergency service and volunteers at risk and also the people that breached the cordon, then we're going to be really worried about the lives of those people," Timaru deputy Mayor Steve Wills said.

Mountain passes were closed overnight, stranding travellers.

"I was trying to get through to the ferry terminal because this is the only route I can go because I'm overheight, so I'm pretty much snookered at the moment," one truck driver said. "We were supposed to be in the Molesworth today but that's closed up."

But all reopened later on Thursday morning.

"This month's been pretty crazy really, lots of rain, lots of snow up here," one person said.

And then there are always the ones who enjoy it.

"Playing on the mountain and making snowmen and I made that one over there," a child said.

This is the third big weather event in just two weeks in the South Island, with gale-force winds, snow and incredible levels of rain. 

While the Northern Hemisphere burns with soaring temperatures, we're breaking records here too, with the MetService recording some of its highest ever rainfall for the month of July. 

"All the predictions for climate change is for more flooding," director of Science Environment Canterbury Tim Davie said. "Rivers are naturally hazardous and if you live near a river you need to be prepared for the fact you could get flooded."

More frequent events are causing people to rethink.

"I think we're going to move house after this," one resident said.

Because Mother Nature doesn't always make a great house guest.