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Council to fast-track flood mitigation options

6 March 2014

Council to fast-track flood mitigation options

Christchurch City Council engineers will fast-track work on flood mitigation plans for the Flockton Street area with the aim of presenting options to the Council for a decision by the end of the month.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Councillors and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee met this morning with Council engineers. They discussed the work already underway to address increased flooding risk since the earthquakes, and the implications of record rainfall in Christchurch this week.

The area around Flockton Street in St Albans was once again hit hard by the heavy rain, with more than 50 houses flooded. The Council has asked staff to fast-track work on possible flood mitigation options for the Flockton Street area, with a report to be prepared by the end of the month for the Council to consider and push forward.

Mayor Dalziel says “This would include plans to develop a Local Bill to Parliament that would allow work to be undertaken much faster than through the normal Resource Management Act processes.

“Addressing increased flooding risk continues to be a priority issue for the Council and a lot of work has been done over the past 18 months since the aftershocks eased. But Christchurch people have been through yet another extreme event in the past two days and it has been a real wake-up call for all of us.

“We also had confirmation this morning from the engineers that all of the flood risk models and assumptions that have been developed since the earthquakes to assist planning were validated by what happened this week. What we faced was a significant scaling-up of the forecast rainfall over a short period of time, resulting in what turned out to be worse than a one-in-one hundred year event.”

Minister Brownlee supported the move to fast-track work on mitigation options. “We had a thorough briefing this morning from the engineers, who have got us to a point where there are options to consider,” he says.

Council engineers have been working with staff from EQC and other agencies over past months to consider all flood-related issues and options. This work will continue and will feed into the report being prepared for the Council to consider this month.

The meeting this morning also confirmed timeframes for the review of our District Plan, including the Natural Hazards chapter which looks at how the Council will deal with risks from flooding, Port Hills slope instability and other hazards in the long-term.

A community forum is being held around these hazard issues on 15 March and residents are invited to come along to learn more about what is being planned to address the risks. Find out more about the forum on the Council’s website.

A newsletter updating Flockton residents on the Council’s immediate response and work already underway to mitigate future flooding events will be delivered to letterboxes tomorrow.

ENDS

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