14 Jul 2017

Martinborough locals wait out the rain

3:36 pm on 14 July 2017

Wairarapa has been left saturated, with at least 100mm of rain falling since yesterday morning, flooding paddocks and some roads.

The flooded bridge at Backwater Rd en route to Martinborough

The flooded bridge at Backwater Rd en route to Martinborough Photo: RNZ / Jacob McSweeny

State Highway 53 leading to Martinborough is closed, and people are being told to use back roads to get in and out of the town.

The bridge at Backwater Road just before the Ruamahanga River was washed out and a huge amount of muddy brown water was rushing through the floodway.

The owner of the Oh My Goodness Cafe, Gina Richards said the bigger delivery trucks couldn't use the back roads.

Oh My Goodness Cafe owner Gina Richards

Oh My Goodness Cafe owner Gina Richards. Photo: RNZ / Jacob McSweeny

"It's a bit of a curse with the bridges all being flooded because my trucks can't get in with supplies, but apart from that it hasn't been too horrific," she said.

"I've still managed to open the shop and had a few customers in."

The town was fairly quiet, however.

Street in Martinborough

One of the central streets in Martinborough. Photo: RNZ / Jacob McSweeny

Another worker at the cafe said it was the worst winter he had seen in Martinborough in six years.

Local beef farmer Steve Cates was still out trying to get work done.

"Move cattle, feeding out, all the usual, it's winter - make sure the stock's in a safe place."

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Flooding in a paddock near Martinborough. Photo: RNZ/Jacob McSweeny

A vineyard manager in Martinborough, Dave Shepherd, was also out looking at the flooded bridge and said once the rain cleared and the weather settled, there would be a big cleanup job.

"Definitely had a lot of rain around the district and I guess it's all got to run out through the valley and out through the rivers.

"I guess it's got to go somewhere and we are all left to tidy up the day after."

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