Taps working but highway still not clear

Parts of the main street in Roxburgh were still heavily covered in sludge yesterday, even though...
Parts of the main street in Roxburgh were still heavily covered in sludge yesterday, even though crews were working hard to clear it. Photos: Tom Kitchin
Teviot Valley Central Otago district councillor Stephen Jeffery, Teviot Valley Community Board...
Teviot Valley Central Otago district councillor Stephen Jeffery, Teviot Valley Community Board chairman Raymond Gunn and Minister for Civil Defence Kris Faafoi hold a press conference yesterday afternoon in Roxburgh.

The water is back on in Roxburgh, but travellers will have to wait until at least Friday before SH8 through the town opens.

The town was still busy yesterday with contractors and machinery working on the roads trying to clear silt and rocks.

Teviot Valley community board chairman Raymond Gunn said the roads would be reassessed at noon tomorrow. Detours are still available between Millers Flat and Roxburgh.

Raymond Gunn
Raymond Gunn
Central Otago District Council chief executive Leanne Mash said the water supply was on in the entire township by mid-afternoon yesterday,  but residents were advised to boil all tap water before consuming any, until told otherwise by the council.

The boil-water notice was still in place at Lake Roxburgh Village, north of Roxburgh.

It could take several days for the water to be safe because the sediments needed to be flushed.

Ms Mash said the event was not declared a Civil Defence emergency because the emergency services on site had enough resources to manage it themselves.

As of 4.30pm the whole township can now flush their toilets, Tevoit Valley community board member Sally Feinerman said.

Mr Gunn said last night any house south of Reservoir Creek at the north end of town could flush toilets, except for  13 properties in Leitholm Pl because their pipes had been damaged. Minister for Civil Defence Kris Faafoi visited Roxburgh for about an hour yesterday. He said he visited the creeks in the town that were badly affected and some residents. He called locals a "tough crew".

"I’m really impressed by how the community’s come together and we’ve got someone talking to the local team here on a regular basis to make sure if they need further assistance we’ll see what we can do.

He visited because he had to see the events "first hand," he said.

"They’re still concerned about some of the rock that is higher up in those creeks. To get an idea of the scale of it, I don’t think you would have been able to get that from sitting in offices in the Beehive."

There had been no financial assistance from the Government yet and he had no idea of the cost.

"I think it’s too early to talk about financial assistance. We’re still assessing the damage and the work that might be done in the future."

Roxburgh Area School principal Gary Pasco said the school would be closed until at least the end of the week. A cleaning company would be in today  and teachers would return to work on Friday. He said the school could not reopen until their sewerage system was checked.

tom.kitchin@odt.co.nz

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