25 Sep 2013

'Slow slip' keeps residents away from homes in Picton

8:12 pm on 25 September 2013

Engineers say a slow-moving slip that forced the evacuation of nine houses in Picton has stopped but the occupants will not be able to return on Wednesday night, as a precaution.

The Marlborough District Council says up to 500 cubic metres of soil and debris that's been moving very slowly down a hillside above Wellington Street is much more stable now that heavy rain has eased.

The occupants of the nine properties were asked to stay elsewhere for the night.

A council operations and maintenance engineer, Stephen Rooney, says better weather is forecast for Thursday which should make the slip safe and allow people to return to their homes.

Mr Rooney says engineers will reassess it in the morning.

He says remediation work such as drainage will have to be done to prevent future slips.

The council's Flood Watch website says 120 millimetres of rain fell at Picton in 24 hours.