Residents warned of 'unstable' stopbank gallery

Rivers throughout Marlborough have risen, including the Wairau River, and levels could rise further with predicted wet ...
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

Rivers throughout Marlborough have risen, including the Wairau River, and levels could rise further with predicted wet weather on Thursday night.

Residents in Blenheim have been warned that a stopbank damaged in the November quake could be at risk of breaching as river levels continue to rise.

About 40 properties in the Islington area near the Taylor River and lower Opawa River have been identified as being at risk, following two days of heavy rain, and more to come. 

With Cyclone Cook expected to make landfall tonight, local authorities across New Zealand are nervously monitoring weather conditions.

Residents at Snowden Cr, Dawkins Pl and Dillons Point Rd could be impacted by rising river levels on Thursday night, ...
SUPPLIED

Residents at Snowden Cr, Dawkins Pl and Dillons Point Rd could be impacted by rising river levels on Thursday night, council warns.

In Marlborough, the district council said that residents at Snowden Cr, Dawkins Pl and Dillons Point Rd should be on alert.

READ MORE:
Heavy rain forces road closures, stop bank monitoring in Marlborough
Low risk flooding alert snowballs into evacuation warning
Cyclonic weather system causes road collapse, minor flooding in Marlborough

Rivers engineer Geoff Dick said although the flood risk was not serious, they wanted residents to be prepared. 

"We might see some water get into nearby properties," he said.

"I want to reassure local residents that our engineers and contractors will be on hand through the night monitoring and are ready for an emergency response if required. This could include emergency works at the stopbank.

For Marlborough news straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter Marlborough Express Daily.

"If we think there is risk of a breach, emergency response teams will notify residents directly by door knocking and using sirens."

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Council staff would doorknock the 40 properties and explain the situation on Thursday afternoon, he said.

The worst of the weather was expected to arrive in Blenheim from 9pm until midnight on Thursday.

Several stopbanks in Marlborough sustained damage in the November 14 earthquake, including Spring Creek, the Lower Diversion and Grovetown.

Council engineers had repaired the stopbanks in Spring Creek and at the Grovetown Lagoon, and were working to finish the rest of the work as soon as possible.

The short section of stopbank along the Lower Opawa had yet to be fixed.

A spokesman for council said the rainfall would determine the severity of potential flooding.

At this stage there was no need for evacuation, he said.

There was also the risk of localised flooding at the intersections of Hale St and Redwood St, and Stephenson St and Taylor Cr, in Blenheim.

Council engineers advised residents of Spring Creek, the Lower Diversion and Grovetown they were monitoring river levels on Wednesday.

People could monitor the council's Floodwatch page for more information.

 - The Marlborough Express

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