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City's Clean Up Could Take Month

Cleaning up the immediate effects of Thursday's storm in Christchurch will take at least a month, says the Christchurch City Council's Manager, Mike Richardson, says.

He said in a report to the Strategy and Resources Committee today that "cleaning up the visual aspects of the storm is likely to take some two weeks although fullying dealing with its immediate effects will take more like four weeks."

Priority was being given to cleaning up the streets and ensuring the safety of property and life from any trees that pose a threat. Extra resources would be put into cleaning up silt and other debris from the streets in Sumner, Redcliffs and the Heathcote Valley in the next few days, he said.

A retaining wall in Evans Pass Road had major damage. The focus would shift to the city's parks later this week, Mr Richardson said.

As well removing trees and branches that had blown down, there would be a programme of inspection of remaining trees, some of which may be unsafe and prone to fall during the next high winds.

"This means there will be felling of trees on streets and parks over the next month," he said. A discount of $5 a trailer would be offered for green waste at the refuse stations until 22 October, he said.

Council staff were looking at ways helping clear the rubbish from people's gardens. Many householders could not do the job themselves, he said. "It may be appropriate for the Council to commit some resources directly to this clean up of private land," he said.

Much of the clean up and damage on private land was unlikely to be covered by insurance as it related to land not buildings. It was not possible to estimate costs but a "best-guess" figure for the clean up and additional maintenance would be $800,000. It was not based on hard information, Mr Richardson said.


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