29 Dec 2010

Big post-flood clean-up for Aorere Valley

8:07 pm on 29 December 2010

Residents of the Aorere Valley in Golden Bay have begun to clean up after the region's worst floods in 150 years caused 27 homes to be inundated and stock to be swept away.

Tasman District Council is still assessing the damage to roads and bridges. Up to 400 millimetres of rain fell in a few hours.

The mayor, Richard Kempthorne, who spent Wednesday visiting the valley, says that while the locals are a resilient bunch, it's still a lot to deal with.

The rain was so heavy the Aorere River changed its course, but stock losses may not be as bad as first thought, as some animals have washed up alive further downstream.

The river peaked at its highest level in more than 30 years, rising 11 metres, spreading one kilometre wide and flooding farms.

The James Road bridge and the Salisbury footbridge were washed away, and nearly 30 houses in the Collingwood area have been flooded.