Cyclone Gita is predicted to hit the Ashburton District later this evening, and Ashburton District Council is advising residents to be prepared for heavy rainfall and strong winds.
A Severe Weather Warning has been issued for much of the South Island, and Metservice reports that strong winds are forecast for this evening that will continue through until tomorrow, while rainfall will pick up overnight.
That means drivers should be cautious on the roads, and any unsecure items should be stored in a safe place, Council Emergency Management Officer James Lamb says.
"There have already been reports of minor surface flooding on some roads and stormwater drains overflowing. During this time, it's important motorists drive to the conditions and are mindful of water on the road.
"We're also recommending that if you have any items on your property that could be blown away in strong winds, to please secure them or move them to a sheltered place. This also includes your wheelie bins if your collection day is on Wednesday. Please don't leave your bins out tonight. They should be put at the kerb tomorrow morning."
Information on Cyclone Gita and the Severe Weather Warning can be found on the Metservice website www.metservice.com