Bay landowners offered help to fix flood damage

Flash flood at Puriri Park Village (Tawa Street) in Mount Maunganui. Photo / Supplied
Flash flood at Puriri Park Village (Tawa Street) in Mount Maunganui. Photo / Supplied

Landowners are being offered help to fix damage caused by heavy rainfall and flooding in Bay of Plenty this week.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council said many land owners would have erosion damage, and other issues such as trees fallen into waterways.

Land management manager Robyn Skelton said the council was able to provide advice, support and in some instances funding for managing riverbank areas.

The heavy rain had brought some of the worst flooding in the western bay in many years, Ms Skelton said.

"We certainly needed a good rainfall, but because it has fallen heavily over such a short period of time, it is putting pressure on drainage systems and the rivers are also very full which is causing damage to banks, as well as flooding the river flood zones.''

"While most of the water is likely to drain in the following days, many land owners will be facing erosion damage and other possible issues like trees that have fallen into waterways.''

Ms Skelton said the worst affected areas included urban Tauranga, Rotorua and the western bay.

Among the worst hit was Tuapiro, near Katikati, where 150mm of rain had fallen in the past 5 days, compared to 70mm for all of March.

In the catchment areas around Tauranga harbour there were many reports of stream blockages where fallen trees and branches were clogging up water ways.

In rural areas, stop banks had been breached, flooding paddocks. ``There are lots of flooded low-lying paddocks, particularly in coastal areas. Some are still under water.''

She said weather had now cleared although some showers were still expected near Whakatane and the eastern region.

Meanwhile health authorities have warned residents to assume flood water is contaminated with farm run-off, faecal matter and in some cases sewage.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Phil Shoemack said any soft furnishings such as carpets and curtains that have been affected by flood water need to be decontaminated or destroyed.

Any food in contact with flood water, or left in fridges or freezers without power for more than a couple of hours should be thrown out.

The council suggests landowners:

- Inspect waterways to see if there are any issues or blockages

- Check that fences along stream and river banks were still in place and keeping stock out of the water

- Avoid driving over paddocks or harvesting crops under wet conditions

- Keep stock out of ephemeral gully areas during heavy rain.

For more information land owners can phone 0800 884 880.

- APNZ

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