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Rotorua copes well with floods – now for the clean-up

Rotorua copes well with floods – now for the clean-up

Mayor Steve Chadwick says Rotorua residents, council and emergency services staff worked well together during Wednesday's floods and were able to minimise the potentially serious impacts of one of the district’s worst storms in recent times.

“People were generally very careful, cooperative and understanding of a difficult and fast-changing situation - one which could otherwise have had much more dire consequences.

“I was impressed by the way Rotorua coped, particularly the coordination effort by the city’s new Police Command Centre and our own council Emergency Operations Centre. That collaborative effort was outstanding.

“I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who played a part in dealing with a raft of problems right across the city and district, and for helping to keep people and property as safe as possible. Well done Rotorua.”

Council crews, especially those involved in roading and stormwater, have been on the job since Tuesday afternoon clearing up and checking systems after the big storm. Work was expected to continue for several days before everything could be checked, cleared and back in order.

Rotorua District Council Water Solutions director, Andy Bell, said the city had a deluge of 143 mm of rainfall over a four and a half hour period from around 6am on Tuesday, with heavy rain continuing until nearly midday.

“That amount of rainfall was equivalent to a once-in-30-year event, much higher than stormwater reticulation networks are designed for. The current design standard is aimed at once-in-five-to-ten-year storms, as is the case with many urban areas across the country.

“However impacts on our urban and rural areas from such a storm as we experienced this week were not unexpected, and fortunately our district’s infrastructure generally coped well, considering the size of the event.

“But we always learn from these things and we’re now assessing any areas where we can make improvements to prepare us even better for future storms,” he said.

Mr Bell added his thanks to those of Mayor Chadwick’s and singled out the council’s hard working works crews and contractors who bore the brunt of yesterday’s effort “out in the field,” and the technical and support staff who backed them up.


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