A state of local emergency was declared at 4.30 pm today by Marlborough District Mayor, John Leggett.
“This declaration will ensure our emergency response team has all the resources it needs to effectively support those communities affected by the recent rain event,” Mayor Leggett said.
Last night, the Rai River had its biggest flood on record, estimated as a 60-year event. Over 550mm of rainfall has been recorded at the Rai Falls so far, while Tunakino Valley has seen more than 760mm of rainfall since Tuesday.
“Communities in Canvastown and Rai Valley are currently cut off from Marlborough and Nelson due to flooding, slips and road damage. Access in and out of the Marlborough Sounds is also very fragile,” Mayor Leggett said.
“These communities will need assistance and support for weeks and months to come.”
“Initial assessments indicate that the new damage to Kenepuru Road, Queen Charlotte Drive, Croisilles Road going into Okiwi Bay, French Pass Road and Port Underwood Road could be worse than that in July last year.”
“This declaration will enable the response teams to assist these communities while we plan the transition to recovery process,” Mayor Leggett said.
For a list of road closures around the region visit: www.marlborough.govt.nz/services/alerts?itemCategory
Motorists are urged to take care on the roads and avoid all non-essential travel. If you do have to use the roads, check their status on Council’s website www.marlborough.govt.nz/ or with Waka Kotahi before you go. Given the current conditions, roads may be closed at short notice.
The MetService will update its forecast again this evening. People are advised to heed weather warnings and keep an eye on the MetService website or app, and follow news reports.
For information on preparing for a flood please visit: https://getready.govt.nz/en/emergency/floods/