Marlborough weather event update 19 July 2021


State of emergency declared in Marlborough

A state of emergency remains in place following the recent storm event. See our alerts section for updates

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Marlborough weather event update 19 July 2021

  • Date 4:24 PM Monday 19 July 2021
  • Type Civil Defence Emergency Management

Marlborough weather event update No. 10

Marlborough’s recovery from the weekend’s storm is underway with the focus firmly on residents and communities, particularly in the Marlborough Sounds, where many people are still isolated.

Mayor John Leggett said Marlborough Emergency Management’s focus is now on recovery.

“Our communities are resourceful. We know many of them have already connected with their neighbours and are providing each other with support while the agencies involved in our response reach them,” he said.

“Recovery involves getting a full assessment of the damage, clearing and repairing roads, and restoring power and telecommunications lines around the region. Our teams have been in the air today doing as much aerial reconnaissance as possible.”

“The good news is that our helicopter survey beginning with the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds this morning - which included Endeavour Inlet and Arapaoa Island - found far less damage to buildings than we were expecting. Aerial reconnaissance of the Pelorus Sound is underway now.”

“We have also had the Coastguard, Department of Conservation and the Council’s Harbours boats out on the water checking in with individual bays and communities in Queen Charlotte Sound.”

“Although there is a lot of work ahead of us we are a resilient region and we will get through this. We will continue working with the many Marlborough-based agencies, organisations and iwi to get our region back up and running,” said Mayor Leggett.

Spark cell phone coverage was restored to Picton this morning. The Council’s Rivers team continue to make emergency repairs to patch three breaches and one near-breach of the stopbank system.

“We understand that some people in areas that are still cut off will be feeling vulnerable and 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,” he said.

Work on the ground has continued today including along Queen Charlotte Drive to make the road passable and safe for residents, contractors and emergency services. Effective immediately, traffic management measures will be in place along Queen Charlotte Drive as follows:

Closed at 9am – 12.00 pm

Open from 12.00 pm – 1.00 pm

Closed 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Open 5.00 pm – 7.00 pm

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

A number of other local roads are still closed or have limited access for residents and the public and this information is being updated and is available on the Council’s Facebook page.

“The key message remains that travel on Marlborough Sounds and some rural roads should be limited to essential movements,” said Mayor Leggett. “It is crucial that people drive to the conditions and take care.”

The following roads are now open:

  • SH1
  • SH6 - note that the journey to Nelson will take longer than usual given the amount of clearing up underway
  • French Pass Road
  • Queen Charlotte Drive is partially open from Picton only to residents, contractors and emergency services, with traffic management measures in place.

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
  • Waihopai Valley Road - past the Māori Ford bridge
  • Northbank Road - past the Bartletts Creek bridge
  • Kenepuru Road is currently closed with multiple slips with assessment ongoing
  • Kaiuma Bay Road is currently closed
  • Rarangi to Hakahaka Bay, Port Underwood is open; Picton to Hakahaka Bay is open
  • The Awatere Valley Road has also been seriously affected by a large washout and could take quite some time to fix

“We are also aware that some farmers in the Waihopai, Onamulutu Valley and the Northbank have been in contact concerned about feed for their livestock,” said Mayor Leggett.

Anyone running out of feed due to the recent storm can register their feed needs through 0800FARMIMG where they will be connected with the Feed Coordination Service. Farmers’, who have feed to donate, or have feed for sale, please register through the same number.

Mayor Leggett said it was difficult to get a good assessment of the impact on vineyards caught in the most at-risk areas from the storm but Wine Marlborough was working on this.

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 on the Nelson Marlborough DHB website.

Go to the Nelson Marlborough DHB website


The information in this media statement was correct at time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.