Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Marlborough storm recovery continues

Marlborough’s recovery from the weekend’s storm continues, with the focus remaining firmly on communities in the Marlborough Sounds, where some people are still isolated.

The Marlborough Emergency Management teams have been conducting aerial reconnaissance of the Awatere and Waihopai valleys, the Northbank and Pelorus Sound. Damage in the Outer Pelorus is limited, while the Northbank area is also now passable by 4WD, Marlborough District Council said in a statement.

“We are working with many Marlborough-based agencies, organisations and iwi to get our region back up and running,” said Mayor John Leggett.

Minister of Primary Industries, Damien O’Connor (pictured, main photo), also visited the Emergency Operations Centre team in Blenheim yesterday.

Council’s Rivers team continues to make emergency repairs to patch two breaches of the stop bank system.

Access out of Moenui to Picton by road was made possible on Tuesday, under a traffic management system, by the Marlborough Roads team, Council said.

“Damage to the Awatere Valley Road up to Molesworth is more serious than expected. The damage include an underslip, washed out culverts and a washout,” it said.

“Work has continued [on Monday] along Queen Charlotte Drive to make the road passable and safe for residents, contractors and emergency services.”

Queen Charlotte Drive access hours from Picton:

Closed at 9.00 am to 12.00 pm

Open from 12.00 pm to 1.00 pm

Closed 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Open 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm

Closed from 7.00 pm with a manned checkpoint until 9.00 am recording vehicles and resident entry only.

Work is continuing on a number of other local roads. This information is being updated and is available on the Council’s Facebook page. The following roads remain closed:

·       SH63 – Renwick to near St Arnaud is closed due to flooding and slips. The worst damage is on the Blenheim side of the Wash Bridge. Very good progress has been made reinstating this road.

·       Waihopai Valley Road past the Māori Ford Bridge. Marlborough Roads engineers are considering a number of possible fixes.

·       Northbank Road past Bartletts Creek bridge. This currently has 4WD access to the Patriarch.

·       Kenepuru Road – major slips, underslips and slumping. Still being assessed.

·       Kaiuma Bay Road – multiple large slips.

·       Queen Charlotte Drive from Havelock to Moenui – a large underslip and slip

·       The middle and upper part of the Awatere Valley Road (below) has been seriously damaged in a number of places and will take time to repair. The damage includes an underslip, washed out culverts and a washout.  

If you need essential supplies and cannot access them, please get in touch with the Council’s Customer Service Centre on (03) 520 7400. In an emergency, dial 111.

Mayor Leggett said the Emergency Management Team also assisted yesterday with the evacuation of a person in the Sounds with long-term medical issues.

“This person required treatment in Wellington Hospital and it was fantastic that we could get him to his treatment,” he said.

The team is keeping an eye on a small, fast moving weather system that is due to cross the South Island this evening, bringing rain to Marlborough. The Met Service advises that rainfall on the ranges is likely to total 20 to 40mm over a six hour period but is unlikely to result in any significant flooding in the Wairau River.

Mayor Leggett said the rainfall may hinder work on current road issues, particularly in the Marlborough Sounds and our emergency response teams will continue to monitor already compromised areas.

Residents should follow the Council’s Facebook page, Antenno app, Twitter and the Council website for further information. Updates are also being broadcast by Marlborough Marine Radio.

Public health advice remains in place for people returning home: www.nmdhb.govt.nz/nmdhb-news-and-notices/category/nelson-marlborough-public-health

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