Southland flooding: Farmers suffering, loss expected to be more than $10 million

Wyndham residents can now return home but have been asked to be careful driving, following the devastating Southland floods.

There is significant damage to surrounding bridges and no direct road access from Edendale or Mataura. 

But Gore resident Kerry Nielson told Newshub she's not allowed back home yet.

"We snuck in there [our house] last night and it's [water] up to your knees," she said.

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker said farmers are suffering following the floods, adding the loss will run into the tens of millions of dollars.

"Over the next 48 hours, farmers will see first-hand the effects this weather's had on their properties.

"I know one farmer - he's lost close to 300 hectares of crop. That is a huge amount."

Farmer Chris Dillon believes most of his crops have been destroyed by floodwaters. 

He told Magic Talk's Roman Travers that fencing on his property has also been wiped out by falling trees. 

Dillon's family has been farming next to the Mataura River for 100 years, and he said there's never been flooding on the land like it.

He told Magic Talk it will be a massive clean-up job.

"The concern was how big it was going to get," he said.

Meanwhile, Fire and Emergency New Zealand is at a papermill in Mataura where potentially hazardous pre-mix is being stored. 

The mill is in the flood zone and houses ouvea - a substance that, when mixed with water, creates a toxic gas. The material is stored in large, extra-lined plastic bags.