Milford Still Isolated By Road, More Rural Help
This is an official message from the Emergency Management Southland.
Southland District Mayor Gary Tong and Emergency Management Southland Controller Angus McKay visited Milford yesterday to assess the damage and to see what else is needed to help locals and tourism operators through this tough patch.
“We don’t know how long Milford will be cut off and we are working hard to ensure to provide the support and resources Milford people need,” said Emergency Management Southland Controller Bruce Halligan.
“The response to the flooding is continuing across Southland with an ongoing focus on making sure people are alright and are getting the information, support, and resources they need. There has been widespread damage across the region, and we are urging people to ask for help if they need it as there is plenty available.”
Federated Farmers has organised the Farmy Army which yesterday was based around Edendale, Riversdale and the lower Mataura area. Teams are out again today with 70 at Edendale and 20 at Riversdale helping farmers clean up debris from the flooding over the past week. There is still lots of work to do, however, and the call for volunteers will continue, co-ordinated by Federated Farmers (fedfarm.org or facebook.com/fedfarmers).
Fonterra have a crew assisting the Farmy Army today and their emergency response team will be fully mobilised from Monday.
The Rural Support Trust has nearly completed getting in contact with nearly 900 farmers in flood risk zones with the focus now on helping those most in need.
In Mataura the community is being supported with the Community hub still opening during the day along with a water tanker, and daily rubbish collections of debris from flooded houses. In Gore there are water tankers at Gore High School and the East Gore Arts Centre.
As the weather continues to improve and flood waters recede, more roads continue to be re-opened. Highway 94 to Milford remains closed but other roads in the area are open, with some restrictions. Milford Rd is closed from Cascade Creek with major damage beyond the Hollyford turnoff. Essential traffic convoys will occur ASAP, but not expected until at least Friday. Drivers are being reminded to stay alert for localised road damage.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is reminding people on Southland roads to expect a slower than usual journey today and into the week. There are several events which are bringing people in and out of the region, including the Burt Munro Rally, a Queen/Adam Lambert concert on Monday in Dunedin, and the Southern Fieldays at Waimumu which open on Wednesday.
Although highways and local roads outside Fiordland have reopened after the floods and around the Catlins, there is damage in some places with single lanes, Stop/Go traffic management, and lower speed limits until repairs are completed.
Mataura Island Rd is now open with restrictions. There is an alternative route for Invercargill to Tokanui and people don’t need to detour through Wyndham.
We continue to liaise with GDC and SDC on the state of local roads – restrictions and closures are available on cdsouthland.nz, NZTA and the AA websites.