Flood scours out more of the do­main


Tem­po­rary river chan­nel works de­signed to pro­tect the Ash­hurst Do­main from fur­ther ero­sion by the Manawatu River are likely to have been dam­aged or to­tally de­stroyed by last week’s flood­ing.

Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil and the Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil in­vested $100,000 this win­ter to build a shin­gle bank di­vert­ing the river flow away from the rav­aged river bank.

This was no match for last week’s flood­wa­ters as the Manawatu River rose to a height of more than 6.5 me­tres on Friday morn­ing.

City coun­cil gen­eral man­ager for City Net­works Ray Swadel said he ex­pected the work would have been lost.

‘‘The cof­fer dam will have been in­un­dated, but we will have to wait for the wa­ter to re­cede to see the dam­age.

‘‘It was an at­tempt to con­trol it, but it was al­ways go­ing to be vul­ner­a­ble to this level of high flood.’’

The river was run­ning bank to bank at the State High­way 3 bridge on Friday.

Hori­zons river man­age­ment group man­ager Ra­mon Strong said most of the re­gion’s flood pro­tec­tion as­sets had weath­ered the storm well, but there was con­cern about the tem­po­rary works at Ash­hurst.

‘‘We aren’t re­ally go­ing to know what we are deal­ing with un­til both the Manawatu River and the Po­hang­ina River re­cede.’’

Strong said he did not think the coun­cils would be back to square one with manag­ing the ero­sion prob­lems.

‘‘How­ever, more work will likely be re­quired.’’

He said the city coun­cil would have to make the call about what to do as it owned the do­main on a stretch of wa­ter that fell be­tween river man­age­ment schemes.

The coun­cils es­ti­mate a longterm so­lu­tion, such as rock work on the left bank, would cost more than $1 mil­lion.

Ash­hurst res­i­dent Har­vey Jones saw the river was scour­ing into the do­main again.

A cen­tury-old pine tree, es­ti­mated at 30-me­tres tall and weigh­ing 50 tonnes, had fi­nally suc­cumbed to the river af­ter be­ing left tee­ter­ing on the edge af­ter flood­ing caused by the tail- end of Cy­clones Deb­bie and Cook in April.

‘‘They have lost more of the walk­way un­der the bridge.’’

Jones said it would be a mat­ter of wait and see to find out whether the river would drop back into its new chan­nel away from the banks.

Hori­zons river man­age­ment group man­ager Ra­mon Strong in­spects Ash­hurst Do­main ero­sion.

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