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Mayor of Christchurch says flood numbers need to be verified

Mayor of Christchurch says flood numbers need to be verified

Thursday 15 May 2014

People whose houses are uninhabitable or whose health and wellbeing are being severely impacted by recurrent flooding are being encouraged to make direct contact with the Christchurch City Council.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the Flood Taskforce’s preliminary assessments of the number of households subject to repeated flooding both above and below floor levels over the past six months were always going to change.

“As we made clear earlier this week, these figures and the criteria the Taskforce has used to determine the levels of vulnerability need to be tested with the householders and with their neighbours and communities. This process is now underway,” said the Mayor.

The Taskforce’s area-by-area analysis had made it very clear that earthquake-related damage to land, houses, drainage systems and waterways was one of several factors contributing to severe flooding across the city.

But it was equally clear that it was the main factor causing repeated inundation in the Dudley Creek/Flockton area, said the Mayor.

“What remains unclear is what this means in terms of how the risk and costs are apportioned between the home owner, the Crown including EQC, and the Council.

“However, I want to be very clear that as a council our primary focus is not on who funds what and when. It is on ensuring that the next time Christchurch has significant rainfall, people have not been forced to remain living in houses where water enters their homes or where they are surrounded by contaminated water.

“And I understand that for some people their situation is just so intolerable that the only viable option in the short term will be relocation. Some have already moved out. These worst-affected residents will be the prime focus of the report to Government next week,” said the Mayor.

The technical report recommended a package of short term solutions for each catchment area, some of which could be implemented either immediately or within the next six weeks.

These include a mix of engineering proposals, fast-tracking maintenance and network upgrades, better alignment with the SCIRT work programme and area-wide and site specific temporary flood defence measures.

Lianne Dalziel said this work would continue to be assessed and implemented. She was confident that some of these quick fixes could reduce exposure to flooding in certain areas in the event of more significant rainfall.

At the same time, it was possible some of the temporary area-wide solutions could provide part of the longer term solutions. It was therefore vital for the council to work through the options carefully to ensure ratepayers’ money was well spent.

“I want to get a set of temporary and permanent solutions that work across the spectrum of property damage (from earthquake related to non-earthquake related) that are fair and equitable to the individuals concerned as well as the ratepayers/taxpayers.

“I am really grateful at the high level of support that we are receiving from CERA, EQC, ECAN and insurers, who have all committed to helping Christchurch through this,” said the Mayor.

Flood impact analysis categories, with numbers affected as at 15 May 2014:

Level One: Two or more instances of flooding of dwelling floors since the earthquakes – 56 properties.

Level Two: Two or more instances of flooding under dwellings since the earthquakes – 471 properties.

Level Three: Two or more instances of flooding restricting resident access to dwellings since the earthquakes – 487 properties.

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

Click here to view the resolutions passed by the Council at the Extraordinary Council meeting on Monday 12 May 2014.

For further information, please call the Customer Call Centre on (03) 941 8999 or 0800 800 169 or email queries to floodmitigation@ccc.govt.nz


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