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Kaeo flood risk reduction works begin

12 December, 2013

Kaeo flood risk reduction works begin

A $700,000 project designed to reduce some of the worst impacts and risks from the flooding that plagues the town is under way in Kaeo.

Bruce Howse, Land/Rivers Senior Programme Manager for the Northland Regional Council, says the work began earlier this month and aims to protect the town from destructive, high speed floodwater rushing through it.

Mr Howse says while the scheme includes a roughly 1km long network of three-metre high stopbanks, it is not designed, nor intended to, stop flooding from occurring.

“What it is designed to do is to deflect damaging, high-speed floodwaters away from the town with a series of stopbanks and essentially convert it into slow-speed ‘back-water’ flooding.”

Mr Howse says the council has secured legal easements across five properties to allow for the work, which (weather-permitting) is expected to be completed in four to six months.

He says slowing the speed of future floods should make them much less damaging and dangerous and make it easier for residents to protect flood-prone properties with sandbags and other tools like flood shutters.

“Kaeo is built on a floodplain and has flooded for as long as recorded history. Its position and local geography means a practical and affordable solution to stop flooding from happening competely is simply not possible.”

Mr Howse says the work is being funded via a roughly 50/50 split between central government ($386,000) and a targetted rate on approximately 2200 local properties.

ENDS

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