Clean-up begins in earnest

Clean-up efforts begin in earnest today as water levels continue to fall after this week's flooding.

The Council Recovery Centre opened at 10am.

The centre has been set up in South Dunedin at the St James Presbyterian Church in King Edward St.

Anyone needing information, help in cleaning up or any other community assistance can talk to DCC staff and local welfare agency staff at the centre.

House assessments have resumed this morning, with council building control officers checking the soundness of flood-affected homes.

The inspections will help confirm the extent of the damage to the city.

Those wishing to volunteer their help should call the DCC on 477 4000. Staff will take details and contact you when it is established what help is needed and where.

DCC general manager (services and development) Simon Pickford asked that volunteers bring their own gumboots.

"You are likely to be working in areas that will still have contaminated surface water, so please come prepared. Your help is most welcome, but we need to look after your welfare too.

"Gloves and any other clean up equipment required will be provided on site."

Roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring said the focus has been on clearing main arterial and commuter roads.

''Portobello Rd still has its challenges and delays should be expected. There is not through traffic access on Portobello Rd, from Doon St to Macandrew Bay so trees can be cleared at The Cove. There is an alternative route over Castlewood Road/Highcliff Road.

''The intention is to re-open that section of Portobello Road in time homecoming commuter traffic today. Current information will be on our website.'' 

Highcliff Rd, from Camp Rd to Portobello, is closed due to slips and washouts and is expected to remain closed for several weeks. There is no alternative route.

Mr Standring said most of the dozens of slips around Dunedin are on the Otago Peninsula, but saturated soil had created instability, leading to a few slips and washouts elsewhere in the city.

Environmental Health staff will visit food premises in South Dunedin today to check whether the flooding caused contamination problems with stored food, and they will provide clean-up advice to property owners. 

The DCC has placed skips in hot spots around South Dunedin for flood affected residents to dispose of large items like ruined furniture, sandbags and carpets.

Residents are asked to bag and place smaller material on the kerbside for collection by DCC contractors.

In South Dunedin, skips are located at Hargest Cres, Surrey St (2), Macandrew Rd (2), Bayview Rd (2), and Baker St (Caversham) by the church.

Other rubbish can be bagged (any bags are fine, not just DCC refuse bags) and can be left on the kerbside. There will be daily collections over the weekend.

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