Flood causes extensive damage

23:30, Jul 16 2012
Canvastown farm owner Noeline Bryant assesses the flood damage to her driveway after the Pelorus River burst its banks on Sunday morning.

Canvastown farm owner Noeline Bryant said the flash floods on Sunday morning that destroyed her driveway, irrigation system and fencing were worse than the floods of December 2010.

Two years ago, the flooding lasted longer but wasn't as intense, Mrs Bryant said.

Her dairy farm, just off State Highway 6, needs extensive repair work after the weekend but Mrs Bryant is thankful no-one was hurt.

"We're all still alive," she said. "The waters came and left just as quick. Although we have a fair bit of fencing to do."

Her driveway was badly damaged on Sunday, just as it was in the December 2010 disaster.

It cost about $12,000 to repair then, she said.


"It's not until you start looking [at the damage] that you get an idea of how much it will cost. Although it will cost us in labour to fix the fence because it's too big a job for us to do. And I don't think we can claim off our insurance for the driveway - apparently your driveway can only be 30 metres from the front door but I have to check that."

The water was spilling out from the Pelorus River in violent waves, Mrs Bryant said.

"It was bubbling, like it was boiling, and it just kept coming over the banks." The water reached about 20 metres up the driveway and destroyed the irrigation pipes in the paddocks.

The family farm also had its water supply cut from the gravity-fed tank in the hills behind. They have no reserve tank.

Mrs Bryant had to shower at a friend's house yesterday morning where she filled a five-litre container of drinking water.

"We've got enough to do the minimum and to make a cup of tea," she said. "It's just repair work now unless we get another deluge of rain."

Luckily the cows were off the farm for winter, she said.

The Marlborough Express