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Funding for further short-term flood mitigation work

Thursday 14 August 2014

Council approves funding for further short-term flood mitigation work

Christchurch City Council has approved funding for further short-term flood defence measures in the hardest hit areas of Christchurch and will consider potential mitigation options for the Central City.

The Mayoral Flood Taskforce delivered its final report to Council today outlining flood mitigation options completed, underway or planned to help the most vulnerable households until long-term solutions are decided.

Several area-wide solutions and maintenance measures, designed to mitigate flooding during heavy rain events, will be funded from available Council budgets and integrated into existing work programmes.

An additional funding increase of $1.75 million (from $4.35million to $6.1million) for the Tay Street Drain Pumping Station was also approved. The pump station is expected to be completed by November.

Taskforce leader John Mackie says the Council’s decision to approve the planned works would provide further measures to minimise flooding risk.

“The total cost of works completed, in progress or scheduled is $10.7million, bringing flood mitigation benefits to 65 per cent of the most vulnerable households. Being able to progress further work gives us additional measures to prevent flooding in the hardest-hit areas of Christchurch.”

Work proposed and currently underway includes:

• Major waterway channel widening and deepening

• Temporary pumping solution in Flockton

• Reinstatement of stop-banks in some areas

• Installation of backflow prevention mechanisms on drains

• The repair of flap gates in the Avon and Heathcote rivers

• Removal of sediment, vegetation and debris from waterways.

• Bridge and culvert removals

• Raising the height of the sides of timbered drains

• Installation of the Tay Street Drain Pump Station, Kensington Avenue.

Mr Mackie says that while the area-wide solutions will benefit many residents, there was still work to be done with other agencies on funding individual house defences, worth $6.1million, for residents whose properties were not protected by wider solutions.

“We need to work with the Government and our other partner agencies to identify potential funding avenues for house tanking or raising. The individual solutions would act as interim flood defence measures for these residents while long-term options are investigated. There’s still work to be done on the longer-term measures and the future costs”

Council requested staff prepare a report on flooding issues in the Central City and potential defence options for residential and commercial properties in this area.

“We will be contacting SCIRT to inform them of this report, allowing us to capitalise on any cost saving opportunities and ensure alignment with projects currently underway,” says Mr Mackie.

Council is also supporting the establishment of community flood defence plans, linking community groups and organisations with metropolitan and civil defence planning.

The two long-term proposals for Dudley Creek will be reassessed in light of the temporary work completed and planned. A timeframe on the recommendations will be presented to Council at the end of October.

Council staff will also review the floodplain management options for the Lower Heathcote to be included in the 2015 Long Term Plan and consider the possibility of permanent or temporary relocation or retreat.

- ends -

Background:

In total, the Taskforce pinpointed nearly 1500 Christchurch properties vulnerable to regular flooding post-earthquake. The Taskforce included staff from the Council, consultants, the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) and Environment Canterbury (ECan)

The Mayoral Taskforce on Flooding was set up in May 2014 following a sequence of severe rain events that struck Christchurch in March and April 2014. Its aim was to fast-track work to identify the causes and possible short-term solutions available to householders who experienced repeated flooding.

To view the Taskforce’s final report to the Council, please click here or visit the Council website at www.ccc.govt.nz/floodmitigation.

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


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