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Smashed . . . A container has travelled about 1km down the Mataura River and is trapped in a tree next to River Rd on Wednesday. PHOTO: SHAYNA-LEIGH ALLISON

Many people in Eastern and Northern Southland believe this week’s flooding is the worst they have experienced in more than 30 years.

Wendon farmer Murray Shallard said the flooding was probably the worst the area had seen since the 1980s.

“She’s been a big one.

“Probably 80-90% of the flats were covered, to give some perspective, on both sides of the river,” Mr Shallard said.

“It’s been a real challenge for everybody with stock on the flat how to manage that.

“It’s been a real headache.”

It was mostly dairy farming in the area.

He and most of the farmers nearby seemed to be milking once a day.

“More out of animal welfare than anything.”

However, he was unsure if the milk tankers would be able to collect milk.

To his knowledge no-one had lost stock.

“Everyone had plenty of warning to know it was coming.”

The flooding had done considerable damage.

“The road’s been gouged out; the culverts are washed out – there’s lots if damage that is going to need to be fixed up.”

The Wendon Creek two days earlier had given him the most problems.

“The side creeks were a real issue.”

Riversdale resident Hilary Riordan said she had been living in the town for 38 years.

The flooding was “the worst we’ve seen it”.

“I’ve never seen water lying around Riversdale like it is now,” Mrs Riordan said.

River Rd resident Sandra Allison said she had never seen anything like it.

Flooding submerged her road and was the height of the stock fences on the property.

“It’s covering the fences at the bottom of the driveway and drops off into the river,” Mrs Allison said.

“It’s surrounding the Clover Meats building.”

A container had washed down the river about 1km and was caught on a tree in the river, she said.

Sara Kirkwood, of Maitland, will have a scar on her knee as a reminder of this week’s flood.

She and her partner Nathan Wootten were walking down the drive on Tuesday morning, when she slipped and split her knee open.

“We were a bit sort of stuck as to where we could go for medical assistance because of the flooding,” Mr Wootten said.

The roads near their home were closed.

It was not a life-threatening situation but Ms Kirkwood’s knee would have a bigger, less neat scar as it had not been stitched, Mr Wootten said.

“You take it a wee bit for granted you can just drive into Gore.

“It shows you can get isolated and be quite vulnerable at times but there are people in Gore, who are much worse off.”

He bandaged her knee as well as he could and took her to the medical centre in Tapanui on Wednesday, but it was too late to stitch the wound, which was about 5-7cm long.