Har­vest­ing crews help with flood clean-up

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

WHEN THE FLOOD­WA­TERS RE­CEDED, HAR­VEST­ING crews were among the first to pitch in and help clean up the East Coast mess left by the Queen’s Birth­day week­end storm and heavy rain that hit again the fol­low­ing week.

The pri­or­ity was to re­move logs and slash that had built up against and flowed onto bridges be­hind To­laga Bay and clear roads.

The two rain events made much of the land too sod­den to use heavy ma­chin­ery and it will take some time to clear the de­bris from pad­docks and around af­fected homes.

There is also the ques­tion of what to do with the wood and slash, with most to be gath­ered in piles to dry and then burned.

The dev­as­ta­tion also pre­vented a num­ber of crews be­ing able to re­sume work in the for­est for sev­eral days af­ter the storm, with many roads closed from a large num­ber of slips on coun­cil and forestry roads.

Ac­cess to a num­ber of forests north of Gis­borne was cut off for more than two weeks, as up to 600mm of rain fell across both weather events in places.

Iain McInnes, Chair­man of the East­land Wood Coun­cil, which is co­or­di­nat­ing forestry’s re­sponse, says: “We met with the lo­cal coun­cil and made our crews avail­able to help clear the roads – the ex­tra rain made the sit­u­a­tion even worse than the ini­tial storm.”

Crews from Ernslaw One, PF Olsen and Hiku­rangi For­est Farms were all in­volved in clean­ing up the mess and help­ing to open up roads in the re­gion.


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