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Blenheim Businesses Showed Resilience In Response To Flash Flood

A survey following last month’s freak weather event that caused flash flooding to central Blenheim has shown local businesses were resilient in their immediate response, with most back up and running in the following days.

The survey prepared by Council staff with support from the Blenheim Business Association, Business Trust Marlborough and the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce, aimed to capture the impact of the flood and identify any areas of support that could be provided.

Mayor Leggett says unfortunately a small number of businesses were significantly affected with large repair bills and/or extended closures.

“Going door to door and talking to business owners in the days after the flood really brought home the scale of the damage that some in our hospitality and retail sectors were facing,” he said.

Of those surveyed, 102 businesses said they were affected in some way as a result of the flooding. Roof, ceiling, ground and building damage was noted as having the biggest impact on businesses. Sixty two percent had insurance for building damage, 22 percent were insured for financial losses, while four were uninsured.

Although 64 percent of businesses surveyed were forced to close due to the flooding, only 19 percent of those were closed for three or more days. A third of businesses closed on Friday 29 October immediately after the flood.

Thirty eight percent of businesses faced damage costs of between $1,000 and $10,000, while 18 percent incurred damage costs of between $10,000 and $50,000. Four businesses stated damages of $50,000 or more.

Mayor Leggett said many local businesses had already done it tough this year with lockdowns and a major storm in July.

“Supporting and helping each other to get back up and running as soon as possible was our priority.”

“The nine businesses that requested support as a result of the survey have been contacted by the Chamber of Commerce or Business Trust Marlborough to discuss their specific needs,” he said.

Council’s Assets and Services department is also assessing the stormwater network using feedback generated from businesses.

The extreme, short, sharp event came without warning and saw hail and around 50 millimetres of rain pour down on central Blenheim within an hour on Friday 29 October. One five minute period saw 11 millimetres of rainfall.

© Scoop Media

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