Record rainfall in July leaves lasting impact

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Record rainfall in July leaves lasting impact

Queen Charlotte Drive, taken on Monday 1 August 2022, following the rain event on Sunday 31 July.

Blenheim has broken two new weather records during July but not those we were necessarily aiming for.

Not only did the downpours result in the highest July rainfall total on record for Blenheim with 220.6mm recorded, last month’s rainfall was also the highest total for any month since records began back in 1930.

The previous highest July total for Blenheim was 174.1mm, recorded in 1998. The previous highest rainfall month was in September 1943, when 191.5mm was recorded.

July 2022 is the first time Blenheim’s monthly rainfall has topped 200mm.

All of this rain has affected State Highway 1 as well as our local roads with slips, surface flooding and road closures causing traffic disruptions and delays.

Waka Kotahi Top of the South Systems Manager, Andrew James, said the record amount of rain received in such a short period of time means many roads have been damaged and will take some time to repair.

“Our crews are working hard across the region to restore access to currently closed roads as soon as possible. While roads are being cleared, we ask drivers to please adhere to signage to keep themselves and our workers safe,” Mr James said.

Kenepuru Road was closed on Monday due to five new sites of damage following the weekend’s rainfall.

“Following an assessment by a Geotechnical Engineer the crews worked tirelessly on Monday to get the road passable,” Mr James said.

Queen Charlotte Drive remains closed between Ngakuta and Shakespeare Bays while a slip is being cleared.

“The crews are working to make the area safe again today so that the road can be opened under traffic lights from this evening,” Mr James said.

“These roads will continue to be assessed but given the saturation levels drivers should be prepared for hazardous conditions, further network and pavement damage and delays,” he said.

Clean-up work on State Highway 1, south of Blenheim, will be ongoing for the next few weeks. Other areas that will require repair work include Waihopai Valley Road, Port Underwood Road, Northbank Road and the Awatere Valley Road.

Disclaimer

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.