143 residents still unable to return home after floods

Residents needed to take all cautions and remain away from properties inundated at present. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Residents need to take all cautions and remain away from properties inundated at present. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

Residents remain out of 143 homes following the storm which buffeted Dunedin and eastern Otago during the weekend.

Dozens of homes may be uninhabitable, but assessments were still taking place, authorities say.

The state of emergency was lifted this morning, but Emergency Management Otago kept some powers under the recovery phase of the operation.

The evacuations from last night remained in place with no residents yet able to return home, recovery manager Simon Pickford said.

A further evacuation in Harington Point Rd had also been added to the tally.

Mr Pickford again emphasised the importance of treating all flood water as contaminated after authorities received reports of sewage contaminating water in residential properties in the city.

Four houses have been served with dangerous building notices.

Residents needed to take all cautions and remain away from properties inundated at present.

"There will be frustration," he said.

"People want to get back to their homes. They want to get back to their businesses. They want to get back to normal.

"That may take days.

"It's devastation. It's a significant event for the city and the Taieri in particular."

Insurers confirmed to the Otago Daily Times that hundreds of claims had already been lodged relating to the weekend's weather.

However, it would be some time before estimates could be placed on the damage to the city's infrastructure, homes and businesses.

Dunedin City Council general manager strategy and governance Sandy Graham said she had "initial discussions" with the Insurance Council, but it was too early to estimate the cost of the event.

"Until we have had an opportunity to get out in those areas to gauge what the damage was we won't have any further [information] than that," she said.

Further rain predicted for the area was being monitored, but was not expected to cause issues for authorities or residents.

"It will fall in different areas than the event we have had," Ms Graham said.

"We don't think it will impact us other than having a bit of rain."

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