Farmer: Otago snowfall worst I've ever seen

By Nigel Benson

It has been difficult to tell where the sheep stop and the snow starts in parts of Otago this week.

Kyeburn farmer David Crutchley, of Shortlands Station, said it was the biggest snowfall he had seen in the area in 60 years.

"It's the worst I've ever seen. We're 60cm deep in places and we've got 54cm on the back door step," he said last night.

The 16,000 stock on the 6007ha station had been struggling to move in the snow, he said.

The farm had also been isolated after the Kyeburn bridge was washed away in floodwaters on Monday, cutting its telephone landline.

"The four-span bridge blew out when the channel aligned itself into the embankment. We'd been harping on to the regional council for six months that was going to happen," Mr Crutchley said.

His wife, Glenis, is the Maniototo St John team leader and had to use a ladder on Tuesday to scale the washed-out bridge to help the community in Ranfurly.

The lack of sunshine also stopped the station's solar battery-powered internet service, until a generator was flown in by helicopter on Wednesday.

The MetService was forecasting snow to continue in the area over the weekend, before clearing next week, with a low of -7C predicted in Danseys Pass today and -4C tomorrow.

Naseby was forecast to have a low of -5C today and -4C tomorrow and Kyeburn to have a low of -3C today and -1C tomorrow.

Ranfurly was expected to have a low of -4C today and -1C tomorrow.

- Otago Daily Times

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