Care needed after heavy rainfall

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 08:47 12/06/2014
Awatere Valley Rd

FLOOD WATER: The Awatere Valley Rd approaching the Black Birch Stream was eroded by the flood waters, but is still passable with extreme care.

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Rivers were running high, and roads around the Marlborough district were closed because of surface flooding after another day of heavy rain yesterday.

Sewage overflowed into Picton Harbour and the Awatere Valley Road was monitored closely for washouts.

Marlborough District Council assets and services manager Mark Wheeler said it seemed Picton received the worst of the weather.

More than 150 millimetres of rain fell there in the 33 hours to yesterday afternoon.

A previous slip site in Wellington St, Picton, was inspected early in the afternoon and no further issues had been detected, and a property in Broadway St had been sandbagged to prevent the garage from flooding.

Marlborough District Council operations and maintenance engineer Stephen Rooney confirmed that sewage overflowed into Picton harbour. Water sampling from the harbour began yesterday afternoon. The pressure on the sewerage system began on Tuesday night with overflows from the Dublin St, Surrey St, and Waikawa St sewer pump stations. Signs were erected near the water warning people against swimming and taking shellfish. Members of the public were advised to follow good hygiene practices should they come in contact with contaminated water, including handwashing.

Flooded roads around Marlborough were closed when they became impassable or unsafe for motorists.

Marlborough Roads were appealing to motorists to take care. Some drivers were failing to observe the temporary speed limits and others ignored the road closure signs completely, they said.

Constable Kevin Brown, of Kaikoura, said roading contractors were out across the district yesterday.

There was a lot of surface flooding around, he said, including significant flooding at the shingle fans north of Kaikoura which were damaged in storms over Easter weekend.

In Blenheim, the Taylor River was running high and all footbridges were closed.

Metservice said last night that the weather would be easing during the day today with patches of rain in the morning in Kaikoura and the Marlborough Sounds.

It would remain cloudy today and only start to clear slowly on Friday.

For updated road closure warnings, go to mex.co.nz or to the district council website at marlborough.govt.nz

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- The Marlborough Express

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