Storm damage to roads $30,000

Sudden stop: A culvert behind the Transfer Station in Taylor Pass Rd, in Blenheim, floods over the walk-cycleway along the Taylor River.
Sudden stop: A culvert behind the Transfer Station in Taylor Pass Rd, in Blenheim, floods over the walk-cycleway along the Taylor River.

Work to repair storm damage to the region's roads continues today and is likely to cost up to $30,000, Marlborough Roads manager Frank Porter says.

Torrential rain lashed the region during a storm, complete with lightning strikes in Marlborough and Kaikoura on Sunday night and yesterday morning.

Road crews dealt with surface flooding, firefighters helped homeowners deal with flooded homes and garages and Mainpower crews restored power in Kaikoura after lightning strikes.

Mr Porter said fallen leaves and the high-intensity rain tested the stormwater systems in Blenheim, but "by late morning most, if not all, urban flooding had receded".

Weld Pass was reduced to one lane during repair work yesterday, and both lanes were open by last night.

The heaviest rain fall was recorded at Beneagle, a farm in Taylor Pass Rd: 57 millimetres fell between midnight Sunday and 1pm yesterday.

A gauge at the Marlborough District Council offices in central Blenheim recorded 53mm for the same period.

Other badly hit areas included Waikawa (52mm), Waikakaho near Tuamarina (44mm), Kaituna (44mm) and Rarangi (41mm).

Council hydrologist Val Wadsworth said a lot of rain fell in a short time, but this was not unusual.

He compared the 18mm of rain recorded in one hour at Beneagle, with the 104mm or rain recorded in Richmond, near Nelson, during a weather bomb two weeks ago.

Short intense rainfall did not affect bigger rivers such as the Wairau, Awatere, Waihopai and Pelorus, he said.

Leigh Maddison, who lives at Vernon Station in Redwood Pass Rd near Blenheim, said the station's 153-year-old farmhouse was vibrating during the thunder.

"I've never seen that before, that was pretty impressive," she said. "It was a wicked storm . . . definitely like a weather bomb."

No stock were lost, but a large culvert had blown out and needed repairs, she said.

Maimais at Wairau Lagoon were in the lagoon.

"The duckshooters might have to wait a few days, or come in their togs," she said.

Carvell St resident Wendy Watt said rainwater had never flooded so far into her garage before.

The water had soaked through cardboard boxes of linen and photographs, Ms Watt said.

It was time for a clear-out anyway, she said.

Terry St John, who works as a caretaker at the go-kart track off Taylor Pass Rd in Blenheim, said a culvert under a walkway between the transfer station and the Taylor River had flooded for the second time in six months.

The council should adopt a more proactive approach to flooding rather than simply carrying out repairs, Mr St John said.

Other residents posted their storm experiences on the Marlborough Express Facebook page yesterday. Toni Woods wrote: "massive lightning strike, thunder boom in Kaiks [Kaikoura] just before midnight, cut power to whole town. Was quite scary and woke a lot of us. Power back on but I'm still lying listening to the storm."

The MetService website is forecasting sunny weather in Blenheim for the next three days, although temperatures will stay relatively low.

The Marlborough Express