Bay tallies flood cost as repairs start

By Sandra Conchie of the Bay of Plenty Times -

The Bay is still counting the cost of flood damage and the repair bill is unlikely to be known for several days.

Tauranga City Council spokesman Frank Begley said cost figures were not yet available but staff would be reporting to councillors at this afternoon's strategic and policy meeting about the full effect of the flooding across the district.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council utility manager Kelvin Hill said he spent most of the day at Waihi Beach, one of the worst-affected areas.

Mr Hill said the visit revealed more flooding damage than thought and so far about 25 homes and businesses had been affected. The integrity of the Waihi Beach dam was assessed due to erosion and there were some areas with large holes needing repairs.

Mr Hill said much of the clean-up was still in progress last night and so far in terms of roading, utilities and other clean-up works the estimated bill was conservatively up to $150,000.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council's after-hours call centre dealt with 282 weather or flood-related calls from 5pm Friday until 8am yesterday. The customer service team dealt with another 223 calls by midday yesterday.

Most were about flooding and of the 505 calls, 455 were from residents north of Wairoa bridge.

Maleme St, closed from the treatment plant to Oropi Rd for most of the weekend, is now open again and the Princess Road slip is contained.

Princess Rd residents John and Kim Hemingway, whose Otumoetai home was left metres from a major slip on Saturday night, were to meet with geotech engineers today to discuss whether their house can be saved.

Occupants at four Jonathon St homes in Brookfield, who were evacuated late Sunday due to the risk of a tree falling down, have returned after being given the all-clear.

Civil defence controller Eric Newman said most people coped well.

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