Safety focus for flooding

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 06:37 20/06/2014

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Extra bollards and chains may be installed along the Taylor River in Blenheim during flooding after a 12-year-old girl nearly drowned last week.

Marlborough District Council managers and Marlborough Roads staff met with the region's top police officer yesterday to discuss how to improve public safety when the river is flooding.

Council and Marlborough Roads staff have been reviewing the rescue of Tenishya McIsaac to see whether extra warnings are needed not to try crossing a flooded river. The year 7 Bohally Intermediate pupil was pulled from the flooded Taylor River after she tried to cross a footbridge on her way to school on Wednesday last week.

Council assets and services manager Mark Wheeler said warning signs are put at the main footbridges during floods, but extra bollards and chains may be installed on other key routes on to the riverbank.

The floodway had a lot of dips and culverts that were quickly covered by rising water, making them a risk for anyone on foot or on a bicycle, Wheeler said.

"It would be very easy to misjudge the water level and get into trouble," he said.

Police area commander Inspector Simon Feltham said he agreed it was impractical to close every access point to the river. It was vital schools and parents made sure children knew the area was a floodway and was not safe to use when the river was rising.

Marlborough Roads had started sending alerts to secondary and intermediate schools on expected weather that might affect road conditions.

Wheeler advised people to check the council website (marlborough.govt.nz) for weather warnings and alerts.

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- The Marlborough Express

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