Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Buller flood damage could top $40 million

Buller District Council has estimated the cost of flood damage across the district caused by back-to-back severe weather events earlier this month at between $21.5 and $43 million.

Council says the extreme rainfall caused significant widespread damage, with many systems and structures already weakened by earlier flooding pushed to the breaking point in places.

“The cost of repairs will be a significant challenge for our district with a small ratepayer base which is spread thinly over a relatively large rural area” says Buller Mayor, Jamie Cleine.

“We are already reeling as a community from the impact of the July flooding events.

“We have a number of significant issues that require immediate attention, these include ongoing infrastructure assessments, removal of flood affected domestic waste, which is a problem throughout the district.”

In Reefton the floodwaters exposed a historic landfill and the Westport Water supply has been severely compromised, the Mayor said.

“On top of this, the roading network has suffered widespread damage.”

“The rural community is badly affected with 70 farms impacted district wide. Assessments by Ministry of Primary Industries are pending.”

“Our infrastructure teams are continuing to assess and quantify the damage around the district.  The list of repair works is continuing to grow.

These events were unprecedented and repairing the damage is going to take time and it will be costly,” he said.

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