Counting the huge cost of flood damage

Ashburton Staveley Rd, known as the Greenstreet area, was one of the worst-hit areas by the flood...
Ashburton Staveley Rd, known as the Greenstreet area, was one of the worst-hit areas by the flood in Mid Canterbury. PHOTO: LINDA CLARK
North Canterbury farmers are taking stock of flood damage, as it adds to winter maintenance workloads.

Canterbury Rural Advisory Group chairman Winton Dalley said the extent of the repair bill from the recent flood event would not be known for some time, but the damage varied for different parts of the region.

While Mid-Canterbury and Selwyn farmers appeared to have borne the brunt of the damage, farmers in the Ashley and Okuku River catchments were severely impacted and there were pockets of damage throughout North Canterbury.

"There’s more damage in Selwyn and Mid-Canterbury, but we don’t want to minimise the damage for North Canterbury, which was still severe in some areas.

"For those in North Canterbury who are affected, it’s just as bad as anywhere else.’’

The Canterbury Rural Advisory Group has prepared a report to the Government which attempted to give some estimate of the likely costs to North Canterbury farmers in the hope more funding would be made available.

"There’s no dollars around what the cost will be yet. Insurance assessments are still being carried out and there’s an unknown around the uninsurable infrastructure and it’s unknown what government assistance could yet be provided,’’ Mr Dalley said.

North Canterbury farms faced repairs to fences, laneways, access roads, culverts, land washed away, and damage cause by gravel and silt over the top of land, plus water damage to houses and farm buildings.

There was also infrastructure damage to roads, bridges, culverts and other council infrastructure.

In the Waimakariri district the worst affected areas included Lees Valley, near Oxford, Okuku and Loburn, near Rangiora, and some areas near the coast.

"Some of the farm damage is severe, particularly in the Lees Valley and around Okuku and Loburn there’s some devastated wee properties.’’

In the Hurunui district there were small pockets of infrastructure and farm damage, Mr Dalley said.

The Hurunui Adverse Events Group, established in the wake of the long running droughts and the 2016 earthquake, was continuing to monitor and respond to the ongoing effects of the drought.

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