Flood costs estimated at $400,000

As Henley residents continue to clean up their homes and businesses after last week's floods, the costs of the event around Coastal Otago are starting to become clear.

A week of persistent rain followed by a night of heavy rain last Friday caused widespread flooding and slips.

Dunedin City Council programme engineer Mike Harrison said while there was still some assessment to be done, it was estimated the floods cost about $400,000.

The major contributors to that were the slips at Portobello.

"We got off reasonably lightly."

The Earthquake Commission had so far received claims worth $215,000 from the district - Dunedin (21 worth $95,000), Waitaki (18 worth $110,000) and Clutha (4 worth $10,000).

About three homes in Henley were flooded and others had water up to their doorsteps.

When the water receded, it left a tide mark of debris.

"We just need a rainstorm to wash it away. Everything is pretty much back to normal," resident and owner of Henley Machinery Works, Jay McLean said.

Although he had managed to get a couple of his key machines running this week, others still needed attention.

"Everything's savable. We should be good to go by the end of today," he said yesterday.

He was relieved to find foundations for a workshop extension had survived the flood and the builder planned to lay the concrete next week.

"I'm amazed. I thought it would have to be dug out again."

Down the road, resident Kerrie Hooper was sorting through what could be salvaged from his family's flooded 150-year-old cottage.

His insurance company had organised accommodation for the family for the next month in Taieri Mouth.

He did not know how many of his vehicles could be salvaged, as his house bus still had water through the engine and his motorcycles were with a mechanic, but his Falcon's motor had not survived, Mr Hooper said.

Clutha and Waitaki district councils were still assessing the damage and the Insurance Council was treating it has a national, rather than regional event, but believed claims overall would be modest compared with previous events.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz


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