The Waitaki District Council is still not sure how long it
will take to repair the damage caused by this week's floods,
which it estimates may cost at least $500,000.
Most of the district was rain-free yesterday, but council
roading manager Michael Voss said although five rural roads
had been reopened, there were still 45 closed and cautions
remained on another 38.
"We have five to six crews out there working with six
diggers, and more hard plant coming in.
"What we are focusing on currently is just getting immediate
access available so people can use the roads, before we can
go back and start reconstruction work."
Mr Voss said the areas around Ngapara, Kakanui and the Shag
River were the "three key areas" that had been prioritised
On Wednesday, council assets manager Neil Jorgensen estimated
the costs of repairs at between $500,000 and $1 million, but
Mr Voss said the clean-up was in its early stages and staff
were still surveying the area.
A better picture of what needed to be done was expected by
the end of today, he said.
Otago Regional Council records at the Dasher rainfall station
indicated 132mm of rain had fallen in the past seven says,
and peaked on Tuesday when rainfall of 10mm an hour was
Waitaki District Council emergency services officer Steve
Couper said contractors were working "flat out" cleaning up.
"We still have a lot of water around. The contractors are out
trying to get as many local roads up and running as they can.
Like a lot of roads out on the plains are going to be wet for
several days, there's not enough drying as yet to evaporate
much of the water, so it will take a while to dry off.
"At this stage, as long as we don't get any more rain, we can
start making some progress."
Mr Couper said although most river levels were receding,
there were still some problems around Palmerston, as the Shag
river remained high.
Surface water also made it difficult to assess the full scale
of damage to roads, he said.