Golden Bay bears brunt of overnight storm


Strong wind and heavy rain overnight brought rivers in the Takaka Valley to high levels.

Over a 5-hour period, 153mm of rain fell in the Waingaro Valley, with 41.3mm falling in one hour.

This resulted in the Waingaro River, and the neighbouring Anatoki River, reaching 10-year flood levels. These flows are the third highest since flow monitoring began in 1979.

The Upper Takaka river peaked at flows experienced only eight times prior over the past 50 years. Road closure warnings were issued for the State Highway in Upper Takaka, and either side of Takaka Township.

Flooding in the Aorere valley was more moderate, although road closure signs were placed at Ferntown on the road to Pakawau.

SH 60 between Riwaka and Collingwood was closed earlier this morning.  It has reopened with warnings in place.  Drivers should be aware there will be delays and the road could be closed again during the day.

East of Motueka, the rain was less heavy, and no flooding was recorded in the larger rivers monitored by Council.

Wind gusts reached 105 km/hr in Richmond, short of the 136 km/hr reached in 2015. The high winds resulted in a number of trees falling. These are being attended by the Council’s contractors.

Rivers throughout the region are beginning to drop, however, care still needs to be taken around them as with coastal areas due to debris.

With the persistent heavy rain for the rest of the day, driving conditions will be challenging through surface flooding; drivers are urged to take care if they have to drive.