Slow down on flooded roads, police warn

21:23, Jun 25 2014

Police are warning drivers to slow down when driving through surface flooding after one car left the road and drove into a ditch in Marlborough yesterday.

Marlborough highway patrol team leader Sergeant Barrie Greenall said the driver of a car went through the floodwater between Havelock and Rai Valley about 6.30pm, causing the car to drive off the road about two kilometres south of Rai Valley.

The surface flooding was made more dangerous because drivers weren't slowing down, Greenall said.

"It's nowhere near as bad as over the hill, but drivers need to be aware how deep it is and not try to just drive across it," he said.

The rain eased off last night, but fords across Marlborough could potentially flood, he said. "People need to slow down so they can stop safely and assess the situation."

Marlborough roading staff were hopeful the heavy rain and winds that battered the upper South Island yesterday wouldn't cause further damage to existing slips.


Marlborough Roads assets manager Steve Murrin said yesterday afternoon he was concerned, but "not too worried".

A slip which closed Queen Charlotte Drive between Picton and Linkwater on Friday had been cleared, but it was possible the wind and rain would cause more loose material to fall, Murrin said.

Severe northerly gales with gusts of 130kmh were predicted yesterday, but didn't seem to have hit Marlborough, he said. "I don't know if the wind got to much, we would have had people ringing if it reached 130kmh," he said

Marlborough Roads staff were still working on clearing a massive slip which closed Port Underwood Rd on Whatamango Hill last week.

On Tuesday, they cleared 900 cubic metres of dirt, but it would take at a few more days to clear, he said.

Speeds Rd was now open after having been closed due to bridge damage, however a speed limit of 30kmh was in place, he said.

Marlborough Lines operations manager Brian Tapp said yesterday staff were always on standby, but nothing major had been reported.

It was not the first storm to hit the region this year, and staff were well prepared to deal with any damage, he said.

"They seem to be happening more frequently," he said.

"We've been well-prepared in the past but we're only as good as the next storm."

Heavy rain caused extensive flooding in Nelson yesterday.

A slip on Rocks Rd reduced the state highway to one lane but both lanes were open by 6pm.

Sections of road in the Toi Toi-Victory area that were closed had also reopened by evening.

The Marlborough Express