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January flood control damage exceeds $1 million

Greater Wellington is the promotional name of the Wellington Regional Council
News release

11 February 2005

January flood control damage exceeds $1 million

In a report released this week by Greater Wellington’s Landcare Committee, the estimated cost of flood control damage caused by severe rainfall and flooding throughout the region during the first week of January is $1.1 million.

Chair of the Landcare Committee Chris Laidlaw said that, “Over the past month we have carried out extensive assessment of the affected areas and have consulted widely with the communities involved.

The cost of the January storm could have been considerably higher had it not been for our current flood protection systems. A similar flood event in 1998 resulted in more than $2 million worth of damage.

Our defence systems are generally working very well and we are making improvements all the time. However, we are very conscious that these events are becoming more frequent, more severe and more widespread. We must respond to this and are continuously reviewing long-term safety improvements to minimise damage in the future.”

Cr Laidlaw said that Greater Wellington is planning to hold further meetings with property owners in the affected areas to discuss long-term options. These include upgrading stopbanks, raising houses and more intensive gravel extraction of some river beds.

The January floods were most significant in the Kapiti and Hutt catchment areas. The highest flows on record were recorded in the Otaki, Waikanae, Akatarawa and Whakatikei Rivers and in the Hutt River at Birchville. The return period of the peak river flows resulting from the storm are estimated to be of magnitude:

- 80 years for the Akatarawa and Waikanae Rivers
- 60 years for the Whakatikei River
- 40 years for the Otaki River
- 25 years for the Hutt River

A full copy of the Greater Wellington report is online at www.gw.govt.nz


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