Flood recovery expenses ‘will be into the six figures’


January 12, 2021

The Waitaki District Council is expecting at least a six-figure sum for its flood recovery expenses, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher says.

The district was hampered by last week’s rainfall, and while the council had not received any official figures, it would be "certainly quite appreciable".

"It will be into the six figures — NZTA’s cost alone is probably $200,000 or $300,000," Mr Kircher said.

Several of the region’s roads were closed last week, including State Highway 83 after Parsons Creek Bridge, near Otematata, partly collapsed due to flood damage.

It had since reopened. Mr Kircher praised contractors and the NZ Transport Agency’s quick response to the situation.

"It was really pleasing to see both there, and on State Highway 82 on the Waimate side, where there was also that road closed for a bit, that they got on and got those problems sorted, and the roads were reopened in time for the [last] weekend."

Access to the bridge was closed last week after heavy flooding washed part of it away. PHOTO:...
Access to the bridge was closed last week after heavy flooding washed part of it away. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

Two sections of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, near Kurow and Duntroon, were badly affected, and had diversions or extreme care warnings in place.

"Some of the places the trail goes through are through floodplains and while they may be all right 98% of the time, occasionally you have these events where it means they need a bit of fixing afterwards."

The Duntroon Domain was closed, as the building and campsites had been inundated during the downpour.

"It’s been a major clean-up, but it’s a community that really pulls together — when talking about recovery you get some really proactive communities."

All boil- and conserve-water notices were lifted from Tokarahi, Awamoko, Otematata and Duntroon water supplies yesterday.

The council was reviewing its district plan and would update its information regarding flooding, planning manager Hamish Barrell said.

"The rainfall event over New Year that brought misery to the holiday season has again reminded us of how important it is that we plan ahead, thereby reducing risk to the community and emergency services," Mr Barrell said.