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Flood recovery phase well underway

Flood recovery phase well underway

Dunedin (Monday, 24 July 2017) – Dunedin’s state of emergency has been lifted and the recovery is well underway.

Dunedin City Council Recovery Manager Simon Pickford says, “We are now in the information gathering phase. We don’t believe anyone is facing immediate danger now as a result of the heavy rain and flooding and our attention is on gathering key information.”

The Dunedin state of emergency was lifted at 9am today. Under the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002, the DCC is now operating under a notice of local transition period as we move into the recovery phase.

The transition period is in force for 28 days (expires 9am, 21 August) unless extended or ended earlier. The notice still gives the local authority powers to carry out essential emergency-related work.

Residents from about 130 properties – most of them in the Henley and Taieri areas, were evacuated following heavy rain on 20-21 July and are still out of their homes.

Mr Pickford says the first priority is getting an accurate picture of the situation for residents who have been evacuated, whether this was done as part of the civil defence response or whether people self-evacuated.

“At this stage, it will be several days before the area is dry enough for us to assess flooded properties, so residents in these areas will have to remain out of their homes for at least the next few days, possibly longer.”

Extra staff will be available at the Mosgiel Library during the usual opening hours this week to let people affected by the flood know what support is available.

Since Saturday, building inspectors have been visiting and assessing damaged houses and properties and have been providing advice to those property owners. At least 30 properties have been visited so far. At this stage, four buildings have been issued with dangerous building notices, requiring the occupants to vacate. These properties are all associated with land slips.

If people are worried their home may be dangerous as a result of flooding/slips, we can arrange a building inspector to check this.

We are advising people not to not swim or gather shellfish for consumption until told it is safe to do so from Kaikorai Stream, the Water of Leith, Lindsay Creek, Silverstream or the Otago Harbour. This is due to the discharge of untreated wastewater to the environment during the storm.

Other public health advice relating to issues such as septic tanks is available on the DCC website.

DCC contractors are busy working to repair roads and infrastructure around Dunedin and work is being prioritised. We are aware there may be potholes and minor damage in some places. We are asking people to please be patient as it will take us longer than usual to get to these due to the widespread flood damage.

Mr Pickford says, “We are asking people to be patient as we tackle all these issues. We have to prioritise the work which means some smaller repairs, like potholes, may take longer than usual due to the widespread flood damage.”

The DCC is also fielding lots of flood-related calls, so waiting times are longer than usual. Please be patient or feel free to contact us another way, e.g. via the website.

Slips and roading
There are more than 25 slips on roads across the city, many of them on the Otago Peninsula.
Residents can now get between Harwood and the city on Portobello Road, although it is one lane in places and care is needed.

Aramoana Road is now open to residents only from Deborah Bay to Aramoana. We are advising people to take care, as there is debris and surface flooding in places.
Some local roads remain closed – a full list of road closures and conditions is available online at www.dunedin.govt.nz/road-conditions. State highway closures are on the NZ Transport Agency website at www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/.

We will be doing kerbside collections around the city for sandbags. South Dunedin, Mosgiel and Outram will be prioritised. We are organising pick up, and will let people know which days in different areas as soon as we can.

Sportsgrounds and tracks
All sportsfields will be closed until their condition has been assessed. Tracks at Frasers Gully, Second Beach and Signal Hill are closed. All tracks around the city are being checked, and people should take care on them in the meantime. The Mornington Tennis Courts are also closed.

Contractors are checking mudtanks around the city to see how they performed during the flood. Tanks around the city are being cleaned to remove flood debris.

Three bridges have been damaged by the weekend’s flooding. The affected bridges are Sutton-Mount Ross, Mount Stoker and George King – these will be assessed by engineers in the next couple of days. Detours are in place where needed.

Kerbside collections
Some kerbside collections will be affected by road closures. Please check the DCC website for details on the day your area is due for collection.

Power has been restored to all customers on the Aurora Energy network in Dunedin.

Rural support
Farmers and other rural landowners appear to be coping well with flood-related issues. For those who need extra support, contact the Rural Support Trust on 0800 78 72 54.

Keep up to date
More information is available on the communication channels below, although please be aware that social media will not be actively monitored from 5pm today until tomorrow morning.


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