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Update from Buller EOC

The Buller District is continuing to respond to the flooding emergency.

2547 addresses have been assessed as part of the Rapid Impact Assessment process.

89 are in the red category – severe or total damage
400 are in the yellow category - moderate damage
2046 are in the green category – none or slight damage
The main concentration of severe damage is in the area between the racecourse and the port, an area adjacent to the domain, the area around the Queen and Disraeli St intersection, the Eastons Rd/Kawatiri Pl area, the Snodgrass area, and some houses in the Colvin St area.
Residents in the red category are not able to reside in their homes at present.
The latest figures on the numbers in evacuation centres are:
Westport South School – 95 – including 45 transferred from the Salvation Army centre
Kiwi Holiday Park – 21
Carters Beach Top 10 Holiday Park – 37
The goal is to have people relocated to alternative short and long term accommodation options as soon as possible.

Financial assistance
Extra financial support is available to people in the Buller District affected by the flooding.
Everyone’s situation is different.  There is a range of help available.
Civil Defence payments are available for people who have been affected.  They do not have to be on a benefit to qualify.  In most cases it doesn’t matter what their income or what assets are.
Payments can help with:
·        Emergency food, clothing and bedding
·        Accommodation costs
·        Loss of income because you can’t work due to the flooding
·        Payments if you have evacuees staying with you in places such as a private home, marae or community centres
Resident can go to Work and Income website at https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/ and search for Civil Defence Payment or call Work and Income on 0800 752 102 for more information.
Depending on people’s circumstances, there are other ways Work and Income may be able to help with matters such as medical costs, bedding, food, rent, power bills, repairs or replacing appliances.
Community Information Hub
Residents seeking assistance or information of any sort are urged to visit the Community Information Hub at the NBS Theatre in Lyndhurst St, Westport It is open from 9am every day.
It’s a “one-stop shop” to give residents a place to register their needs and get information.
If necessary, residents will be taken through a needs assessment to work out what help and information they might need in both the short and long-term.  They will be allocated to appropriate agencies following the needs assessment.
The following agencies are now available to assist residents affected by flooding including:
·        Buller District Council
·        Homebuilders
·        Age Concern
·        Public Health
·        Red Cross
·        Te Ha o Kawatiri
·        Buller REAP
·        Number 37 Community House
·        Animal Welfare
West Coast cultural advisors and iwi advocates
A medical doctor is also on site.
It is expected Kainga Ora and the Ministry of Social Development, Animal Welfare will also operate out of the hub as the week proceeds.
The Insurance Council will be at the hub from noon on Wednesday until Sunday to answer insurance questions.
The Community Information Hub will have the latest public information on the flooding emergency.
 Residents are welcome to turn up for a “cuppa and a chat”.

Rubbish collection
Perishable items (food and scraps) in sealed rubbish bags will be collected from the roadside throughout the week.  Residents can call 789 7999 for plain rubbish bags or they can be picked up from the White Star clubrooms in Lyndhurst St.  It is not necessary to use the official Buller District Council bags
Residents are asked not to leave non-perishable items including cardboard, glass, furniture items, whiteware and hazardous goods on the roadside at this stage.  Please keep these items inside your property until further notice.
There will be no recycling and glass collection this week.  Residents are asked to wait for further advice.
The Westport refuse station will be open from Tuesday to Friday this week from 9am to 4pm. 

Returning home after flood damage

Residents are reminded to take precautions before re-entering their homes.

Flood waters are sewage polluted so all items in contact with flood water should treated with caution. Small children should not be present during the clean-up phase.

Residents should not return home until they know it is electrically safe. Gas supplies need to be checked by an authorised technician.

When residents return to their property they should:

Clear out everything which is wet
Get rid or water of mud left behind
Do things to ensure quick and thorough drying

Repairs and redecorating should only be carried out when the structure of the house is dry enough.

In most cases it will takes months rather than weeks before flood damaged homes can be restored.

Residents are advised to use personal protective equipment (PPE) if they handle items which have been in contact with flood water. All flood water should be treated as if it has been contaminated.

© Scoop Media

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