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Flood update: House visits underway

IMG 4171A fly-over of the worst flood-affected areas late yesterday has given Hastings District Council a better idea of the extent of the clean-up required.

Hastings District Council assets staff and Councillor George Lyons flew over the worst affected areas, Esk Valley and Rissington, late yesterday afternoon, ahead of a desk-top exercise carried out overnight to pin-point homes where families might need assistance.

Today building and welfare teams have been going door-to-door to assess residents’ needs. The helicopter flight gave the team a very good idea of the damage, said Mr Lyons.

“We needed to see what we were dealing with, and looking from the air gives a much better picture in this type of rural country. It was quite amazing that the rain dumped such a wallop in such a small area. Knowing that we needed to focus most of our efforts in this area was extremely helpful.”

Assets manager Craig Thew said the flight was very useful for the allocation of resources. “Given the very rural nature of the area, being able to pinpoint the areas where the need was highest is invaluable for making sure we get to the most vulnerable first.

“It is also going to be important information for forward-planning as we look to make preparations in case Cyclone Hola impacts Hawke’s Bay. The focus at the moment is on people needing help from this event, and then on the potential effects should the cyclone drop heavy rain on already sodden soils.”

He said information gleaned on the state of the roads in the area, particularly slips and drop-outs, also helped with prioritizing the plan for teams charged with repairs.

By day’s end Council hoped to have visited each of the properties potentially impacted by this week’s flood.

“However, if we have not been to see you and you need help, either related to the state of your home or any other welfare need, please call us on 871 5000. It is a 24 hour number,” said Mr Lyons.

9 March 2018

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