2 Aug 2022

July becomes Blenheim's wettest month on record

5:50 pm on 2 August 2022

July was the wettest month on record for Blenheim, with more than 220 millimetres of rain falling, the highest monthly total since records began in 1930.

Heavy rain over the weekend more damage to the slip-affected Queen Charlotte Drive.

Heavy rain over the weekend more damage to the slip-affected Queen Charlotte Drive. Photo: Supplied / Marlborough District Council

The persistent rain caused traffic disruptions and delays across the district and forced several closures of State Highway 1 due to flooding.

Marlborough District Council said was the first time Blenheim's monthly rainfall topped 200mm.

Prior to that, the wettest July in Blenheim was in 1998 when 174.1mm of rain was recorded.

The wettest month on record for the town was September 1943, when 191.5mm rainfall was recorded.

Waka Kotahi Top of the South systems manager Andrew James said the record amount of rain in a short space of time meant damaged roads would take some time to repair.

Kenepuru Road was closed yesterday after five new sites of damage following the weekend's rainfall.

The road was assessed by a geotechnical engineer and work was done yesterday in order to open it so the road was passable.

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

"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."

Clean-up work on State Highway 1, south of Blenheim, will continue for the next few weeks.

Other areas that require repair work include Waihopai Valley Road, Port Underwood Road, Northbank Road and the Awatere Valley Road.

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