Rising rivers lead to road closures

Steady rain and steadily rising river levels have closed roads in parts of Marlborough.

The fords on the Omaka and Opawa Rivers, on Old Renwick Rd between Blenheim and Renwick, were closed last night.

Queen Charlotte Drive is also closed by a slip about 1km from Picton and slips have closed the Port Underwood Road again this afternoon.

There is surface flooding on State Highway 1 between Blenheim and Picton and also on the highway south of Blenheim.

A spokeswoman said Marlborough Roads had closure signs out and drivers were asked to observe all warning signs.

Police were also warning drivers to avoid using that section of Old Renwick Rd until the river levels dropped.

In Blenheim, the Taylor River was rising, and water levels at the Taylor Dam were high.

The footbridges across the river nearer to town were closed and the crinoline bridge, near the town centre, was closed.

The river was expected to continue rising, but was unlikely to reach the Easter flood levels unless the rainfall intensity increased markedly, the spokeswoman said.

The Awatere Valley Rd was closed last night at the shingle fans, which had been seriously damaged in the Easter flooding.

Flooding had been reported on State Highway 1 south of Ward, near Tirohanga, and drivers were advised to take care.

Surface flooding had also been reported on SH6 south of Havelock.

Ward Beach Rd and Taylor Pass Rd are closed by flooding.

The rain is forecast to continue throughout today and tomorrow.

Roads closed:

Ward Beach RoadTaylor Pass Road at the Fords
Hodder Ford - Awatere Valley Road
Port Underwood Road - Whatamango Hill
Omaka Ford, Old Renwick Road
Old Renwick Road at Fairhall Diversion
Jacksons Road
Hammerichs Road
Thompsons Ford
Para Road
Speeds Road
Fairhall Cycleway, SH6 Woodbourne
Foster Street, Seddon
Morgans Road
Queen Charlotte Drive - 1km from Picton

Caution is required in these areas:
Taylor Pass Road - by Simcox yard
SH6 - Okaramio to Havelock
SH1 - Ward to Conway
SH1 - south of Picton
Northbank Road - trees have come down but the road is still passable
Awatere Valley Road is now open but extreme care is required.

The Marlborough Express