24 Jun 2015

Flood damage estimate already at $20m

8:23 pm on 24 June 2015

Estimates in an initial impact assessment of the damage done in the floods in the lower North Island are already at $20 million, for one area alone.

Anzac Parade Whanganui 22 June

Anzac Parade - pictured in Whanganui on Monday - was badly hit by the flooding. Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

The Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council said lives and livelihoods were a priority, with more than 200 people still unable to return to their homes in badly-hit Anzac Parade.

The council has urged people to donate to the Red Cross, Mayoral Fund and Disaster Relief Appeals to help those hardest hit.

Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council recovery manager Ged Shirley said an initial impact assessment for the region was being compiled to be presented to the Government on Friday.

Mr Shirley said estimates for restoring the roading network in the Rangitikei District alone were about $20 million.

South Taranaki District Council chief executive Graig Stevenson said earlier today that the estimated cost of road and bridge repairs was growing in his district.

"Well, according to the engineers, who spent some time in the air yesterday doing bridge and road inspections, the $7 million we were talking on Monday is a minimum, so we've just increased that range to $7-10 million."

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye, who was in Whanganui today, said some people in isolated rural communities could be cut off for many more weeks while roads were repaired.

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye gives an update on flooding, watched by Whanganui Mayor Annette Main.

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye gives an update on flooding, watched by Whanganui Mayor Annette Main. Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

Meanwhile, power has been restored to customers in Strathmore, Whakamara and Uruti.

Powerco operations manager Dean Stevenson said crews have been working hard in Whanganui and Waitotara, and hoped to have as many as possible of the 220 properties still without electricity back on tonight.

Mr Stevenson said helicopters were being used to reach places blocked by washouts, slips and fallen trees.

Those without power have been offered generators until it can be turned back on.

Pipiriki

A slip blocks part of the Pipiriki to Raetihi Road, about 87 kilometres from the city of Whanganui. Photo: SUPPLIED / Ruapehu District Council

The small Māori settlement of Pipiriki was stranded after massive slips washed out the road to Raetihi (pictured) and the road that connects it to the city of Whanganui.

Other problems have blocked a nearby stretch of road. Photo: SUPPLIED / Ruapehu District Council