River dredg­ing to fix flood­ing

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Dredg­ing has started on a Blen­heim river that lost sev­eral sec­tions of river­bank in the 7.8-mag­ni­tude earth­quake, caus­ing flood­ing up­stream in heavy rain.

The Marl­bor­ough Dis­trict Coun­cil started dredg­ing the O¯ paoa River on Tues­day as part of a $200,000 project to bring it back down to pre-quake wa­ter lev­els.

Slump­ing of the O¯ paoa river­bank, brought on by the Kaiko¯ura earth­quake in No­vem­ber 2016, caused wa­ter lev­els to rise in the lower O¯ paoa and Tay­lor River by up to 30 cen­time­tres.

The Tay­lor River has since be­come more prone to flood­ing in heavy rain, es­pe­cially around the am­phithe­atre in cen­tral Blen­heim.

But the coun­cil’s new dredg­ing project is set to pull the plug on the on­go­ing flood­ing is­sues by deal­ing with chan­nel nar­row­ing and sed­i­ment build-up in the lower O¯ paoa River.

The coun­cil has al­ready re­duced the amount of aquatic weed in the river, which helped with river lev­els and wa­ter flow.

Coun­cil rivers and drainage en­gi­neer­ing man­ager Ge­off Dick said this next stage would see the O¯ paoa River’s edges re­turned to their orig­i­nal po­si­tion.

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