12 Jun 2010

Hundreds still shut out of flood-damaged homes

10:04 pm on 12 June 2010

Nearly two weeks after torrential rain flooded the Whakatane district, hundreds of residents are still unable to return to their

water-damaged homes.

Out of nearly 250 dwellings checked by building inspectors, 125 require remedial work before they are fit to live in.

Two are classified as unsafe and another 52 are partly usable but need to be cleaned of silt.

Some are without power and water connections.

The Eastern Bay of Plenty civil defence controller, Diane Turner, says that hundreds of people are displaced and that more than 100 business premises are also affected in some way.

Cost of clean-up more than $3m

So far, the cost of the flood clean-up is more than $3 million.

Whakatane District Council says reinstatement of roading alone has cost $1.8 million; waste disposal and repairs to water, wastewater and stormwater systems more than $1 million; and another $300,000 has been spent on damaged halls, parks and reserves.

The region was also hit by major storms in 2004 and 2005.