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.