Waitaki district re­cov­ers from flood­ing


Waitaki is un­der­go­ing a large re­cov­ery op­er­a­tion fol­low­ing ex­ten­sive flood­ing in and around Oa­maru.

Coun­cil act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Neil Jor­gensen said there were teams re­spond­ing to the many is­sues in­clud­ing drink­ing wa­ter sup­plies, road and bridge dam­age as well as slips that have dam­aged homes and prop­er­ties dur­ing the flood­ing over the week­end.

‘‘Five prop­er­ties have had earth slip dam­age and build­ing in­spec­tors will be vis­it­ing these prop­er­ties to­day to fur­ther as­sess what needs to be done. Our fo­cus is mak­ing sure that peo­ple are safe and that they have sup­port,’’ Jor­gensen said on Mon­day.

There has also been wide­spread flood­ing in the north end of Oa­maru. Some prop­er­ties have had flood­wa­ter in garages and other build­ings.

The ma­jor­ity of flood­wa­ter had been pumped out where build­ings were af­fected, and sur­face pond­ing would dis­si­pate through­out the week, Jor­gensen said.

A very small num­ber of prop­er­ties did have some con­tam­i­na­tion di­rectly with sewage, which is very no­tice­able and has a strong, dis­tinc­tive smell.

‘‘Please con­tact Coun­cil im­me­di­ately if you have sewage on your prop­erty.

‘‘We be­lieve that these is­sues have all been iden­ti­fied and treated, how­ever, if not, please call us on 03 433 0300.’’

Early in­di­ca­tions sug­gested the re­cov­ery costs may be close to the mil­lion dol­lar mark, Jor­gensen said on Mon­day.

The Otago re­gion-wide state of emer­gency re­mained in place un­til mid­day Mon­day July 24 as Dunedin City re­sponded to the af­ter­math of the weather event.

‘‘There are a lot of re­pairs on the net­work and it is likely to be weeks be­fore all can be com­pleted,’’ he said.

‘‘The waters team have also let us know that the sewer sys­tem is work­ing in Oa­maru. The ac­tual sew­er­age that mixed with flood waters was very di­luted and any wa­ter ponded on peo­ples sec­tions will gen­er­ally just be flood waters. Peo­ple should fol­low nor­mal hy­giene prac­tices when touch­ing flood­wa­ters.’’

A state of emer­gency was de­clared in the Waitaki District on Fri­day night af­ter flood­ing con­di­tions con­tin­ued to worsen in North Otago.

Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher made the call at 8pm.

At 8.20pm the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil de­clared a re­gional state of emer­gency.

State High­way One about 10km north of Oa­maru. Much of the district is re­cov­er­ing from heavy rain and flood­ing.

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