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Emergency Management Otago update #10 - 3.45pm

Media Release - 23 July 2017

Clean-up operations are underway across Otago as floodwaters continue to recede in the region’s rivers.

Group Controller, Chris Hawker, said that the Waitaki and Clutha District Councils both closed their emergency operations centres this afternoon, with council staff and contractors continuing to repair damage to roads, water and wastewater systems as part of their normal business arrangements.

The Dunedin Civil Defence Emergency Operations Centre is remaining open and the Otago Group Emergency Coordination Centre is also still activated in support.

About 10 properties in Milton are still evacuated because of flooding. In Outram, most of the families evacuated yesterday have been able to return home. Elsewhere in the Dunedin area, about 130 properties remain evacuated and these are mostly in the Henley and Taieri areas.

Mr Hawker said assistance was available to people whose property had been flooded or were impacted in other ways.

People who have been displaced from their homes can contact local community agencies such as Salvation Army, Presbyterian Support, Anglican Family, Catholic Social Services, Methodist Mission and Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora for assistance. All these agencies can be found online in the white pages of the phone book.

Federated Farmers and the Rural Support Trust are providing assistance for farmers: 0800 FARMING and 0800 RURAL HELP.

Regional Council engineers are assessing damage to stopbanks and pump stations as water levels drop, mindful that more rain is forecast for later in the week.

Mr Hawker said that the official transition to recovery would begin on Monday morning. “We have agreed with Mayor Dave Cull and ORC Chairman Stephen Woodhead that the Group Recovery Manager will be appointed so at 9am the Controllers will all stand down.”

Nick Donnelly, Director of Corporate Services at Otago Regional Council, is the Group Recovery Manager. Simon Pickford, Dunedin City Council’s General Manager Community Services and Development, will be the Dunedin Recovery Manager.

Mr Hawker said the structure of the Dunedin recovery office was being developed with the advice of Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management staff, who had arrived on Saturday to support the local response.

At this stage we are watching the forecast. River levels are still high and MetService is signalling that another front will be coming later in the week with significant snow in the Maniototo and Strath Taieri areas. My team will be working with ORC’s flood managers to assess the impact this might have on already saturated catchments.

ENDS

This will be the last update from Emergency Management Otago for this event, unless the situation alters significantly.
The emergency coordination centre will stand down overnight from 6pm to 7.30am and remain activated until the transition to recovery is completed tomorrow.

Media inquiries to Michele Poole, Public Information Manager, 0278398306

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