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Government, Contact Must Accept Flood Liability

ACT Otago Candidate Gerry Eckhoff is today calling on the Government and Contact Energy to accept culpability for the latest flood in Alexandra.

"The Government and Contact Energy must immediately accept liability for the damage caused by this latest flood. Government and Contact Officers must urgently meet with Alexandra representatives to hammer out a fair, equitable and long-term solution to what is clearly now an ongoing and devastating problem.

"Silt build up behind the Roxburgh Dam is the prime cause for the flooding in Alexandra. The silt has elevated the river levels behind the Roxburgh damn by at least 4.12 metres. That is forcing the Clutha to spill its banks into Alexandra.

"The 1878 flood was measured at 4600 cumecs and the Clutha River stayed in its banks. In 1995 the flood was measured at 3300 cumecs and yet the flood reached a level three metres higher than the 1878 flood.

"In 1995 there was less water but the flooding was far more severe. The Regional Council has said the risk of flood is a one in 100-year event. We have now had three floods in the last six years.

"Residents are also raising concerns over whether their insurance will continue to cover flood damage.

"Since the 1995 flood it's taken Contact Energy four years to front up with money for the community. The people of Alexandra cannot be left waiting while Contact Energy procrastinates for another four and a half years," said Gerry Eckhoff.

ENDS

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