SouthRoads crew Ian Schroeder (left) and Daryl Falconer
pour concrete into a hole in Ridge Rd, off SH83 at Peebles,
yesterday, one of hundreds of repairs needed after flooding
in North Otago this week. Water carved out the hole,
emerging about 20m below the road from a bank in the forest
(right). Photo by David Bruce.
Road repairs in the Waitaki district will "step up" next
week once floodwaters have receded and it becomes clearer what
work needs to be done after heavy rain during the past
fortnight culminated in major flooding this week.
SouthRoads Oamaru branch manager Russell den Dulk said the
company, which has the maintenance contract for Waitaki
District Council roads, was bringing in extra crew and
machinery from Dunedin and Invercargill to help with the
Yesterday, it had five diggers throughout the district, along
with other crews and equipment, helping reopen roads, the
priority at present. The company was also using local
subcontractors to help.
"It's been a pretty big event and it's still quite wet out
there. What we are trying to do is get as many of these roads
open, bearing in mind there is potentially another event
coming next week," he said.
"It's about getting people access."
Many roads still require caution.
Once temporary repairs have been made to reopen roads, the
focus will move to permanent repairs.
How quickly that will happen will depend on being able to see
what damage has occurred and no more rain, despite forecasts
for more tomorrow and Monday.
At mid-afternoon yesterday, the number of roads closed had
been reduced from 45 on Thursday to 34, according to the
Waitaki council website. Problems ranged from washouts, holes
and surface loss, to a major slip on Chalmers Rd, Palmerston.
The council has estimated damage could cost between $500,000
and $1 million, although a detailed inspection is yet to be
done. Floods in May 2010 caused $1.5 million damage.
Civil Defence is monitoring the situation, and while some
roads are still closed, it has not had any requests for
Fresh water is being made available to those who need it as
some rural water schemes are closed because of discoloured
Consumers on five schemes have been advised to conserve