July will be Blenheim’s wettest month ever

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

Heavy rain over the weekend caused more damage to skid-stricken Queen Charlotte Drive.
Photo: Delivered / Marlborough District Council

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

Marlborough District Council said it was the first time monthly rainfall in Blenheim reached 200mm.

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

The wettest month on record for the city was September 1943, when 191.5mm of rain fell.

Waka Kotahi Top of the South system administrator Andrew James said the record amount of rain in a short time meant damaged roads would take some time to recover.

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

The road has been assessed by a geotechnical engineer and work was done yesterday to open it up so that the road was passable.

Queen Charlotte Drive will remain closed between Ngakuta and Shakespeare Bays while a slip is cleared.

“The crews are working today to make the area safe again so that the road can be opened under traffic lights from tonight.

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“These roads will be further assessed, but given the saturation levels, drivers should be prepared for dangerous conditions, further damage to the network and road surface and delays.”

In the coming weeks, the cleaning work on State Highway 1, south of Blenheim, will continue.

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

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