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Measures to help those most vulnerable to flooding outlined

Flooding Taskforce outlines short term measures to help those most vulnerable to flooding

The Council has given the green light to a range of short term flood prevention measures in the hardest hit areas of Christchurch and Little River, following the delivery of the Mayoral Taskforce on Flooding report today.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the taskforce approach enabled different parts of Council to come together to work with other agencies and engineers to provide immediate solutions.

"They didn't waste any time. While they were out walking the worst affected catchments they were organising maintenance and repair work to be undertaken straight away.”

The Taskforce solutions include:

· A temporary pumping solution in Flockton,
· The repair of flap gates in the Avon and Heathcote rivers,
· Raising stop-banks on the Heathcote River and the removal of debris,
· Individual property-level protections including house-raising and base water-proofing,
· Relocation solutions for the most at-risk households,
· Targeted dredging of the Avon and Heathcote rivers.

The Council today agreed to establish a small governance group to authorise immediate work as the Taskforce prioritises each area.

The Mayoral Taskforce on Flooding was set up two weeks ago to fast-track work to identify the causes and possible short term solutions available to householders experiencing repeated flooding.

In total, the Taskforce pinpointed nearly 1,000 Christchurch properties regularly affected by flooding in the post-earthquakes environment, with the 56 most vulnerable properties flooded twice or more inside the home since the 2010/2011 earthquakes.

"The 325 page Draft Technical Report provides an incredible resource for Council, affected communities, individual property owners and government agencies as well as EQC and insurers. This will enable the Council to provide Government with the evidence to support joined up solutions in these areas."

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the residents in flood-prone areas are one of the Council’s top priorities, “The prioritisation of the work will be determined by the vulnerability of residents and the frequency of flooding.

“The Taskforce worked from the basis of the impact on the most vulnerable people including older people, families with young children and others with high needs.

“Over the coming weeks we will work with the community to ensure these people are identified and wherever possible measures are put in place to assist them with flood issues.”

“At this stage, the vulnerability levels and numbers are provisional and we will have meaningful engagement with the community over the next few weeks to discuss the report findings in these areas. We will be working closely with all key agencies to progress the flood mitigation options and implement the options in this report by 31 May 2014.

“We will also seek to understand the progress CERA, the Earthquake Commission (EQC), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Insurance Council (ICNZ) are making on land and housing repair strategies and their potential contribution to resolving these issues.”

Taskforce leader and Christchurch City Council Land Drainage Operations Manager, Mike Gillooly says, “We will be speaking directly with these 56 property owners to let them know what we are doing to assist them.

“The field work was supplemented by targeted surveys of some of the high-risk areas and topographical surveys of the city’s waterways and drainage systems since the 2012 earthquakes.

“We are chasing millimetres – every millimetre we can gain in capacity could save a house from having floor levels breached. We understand the stress and concern these flood events bring to families.”

The Council’s Land drainage team started removing debris and overgrowth from lower Dudley Creek on 7 May.

The Taskforce’s report to Council, the draft technical report and a map detailing the flooding analysis can be viewed on the Council website at www.ccc.govt.nz/floodmitigation.

Click here to view the resolutions passed by the Council at today’s meeting

A progress report will be provided to the Earthquake Committee of the Whole on 5 June 2014.

Community meetings in each of the affected areas will be held in coming weeks where residents can find out further information and provide feedback. Further information on these meetings will be available by Friday 16 May 2014.

- ends -

Summary of short term option proposals by area:

Lower Avon
· Enlarged drains
· Flap gates
· Street sandbagging
· Debris removal

Dudley Creek / Flockton
· Enlarged drains
· Flap gates
· Local bunding
· Dredging
· Diversions
· Traffic management
· Temporary bridges
· Pumping

Lower Heathcote
· Flap gates
· Local bunding
· Debris screens
· Diversions
· Traffic management
· Pumping

Upper Heathcote
· Local bunding
· Pumping

Heathcote Valley
· Flap gates
· Local bunding
· Diversions
· Street sandbagging
· Pumping

Little River
· Local bunding
· Enlarged drains
· Secondary flow path

· Due to the unique topography of the Lyttelton area further option solutions investigations are required.

· Raised stop banks

· Enlarged drains
· Flap gates
· Local bunding
· Secondary flow path
· Increased inletting

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