17 Sep 2017

South Canterbury councils to set up emergency relief funds

6:03 pm on 17 September 2017

Some South Canterbury councils are setting up emergency relief funds to better deal with flooding.

An aerial photo shows flooding in Otago after the July storm on 20-23 July 2017. Outlying and rural areas of Dunedin are among those affected.

An aerial photo shows flooding in a rural suburb of Dunedin after the heavy rain in July. Photo: Otago Regional Council

Canterbury and Otago were devastated by flooding in July this year, with serious damage to roads and other infrastructure.

Both the Waimate and MacKenzie District councils are about to start consultation on developing an emergency fund to be better prepared for a disaster.

Waimate district mayor Craig Rowley said the last flood had cost ratepayers $680,000, with roads being the worse affected.

Mr Rowley said the council wanted to set up an emergency relief fund of about $1 million.

"Our 50-year floods seem to be coming about every five to 10 years. And of course it takes a lot of money ... when we get major repairs like that.

"So, that's the idea behind it - to give us a bit of a buffer for those one-off events," he said.

That would enable infrastructure, such as roads, to be repaired as fast as possible after a disaster.

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