25 Mar 2016

River to run through hotel for several days

10:52 am on 25 March 2016

It could take another three days for Franz Josef's Waiho River to be re-routed away from the hotel it is now running through after it burst its banks.

Guests have been allowed back into the Mueller Scenic Hotel in Franz Josef, which is still flooded, to collect their belongings.

Guests have been allowed back into the Mueller Scenic Hotel in Franz Josef, which is still flooded, to collect their belongings. Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

Almost 200 guests at the Mueller Scenic hotel and a neighbouring camping ground had to be evacuated on Wednesday night when the West Coast river burst its banks.

Emergency Management officer Allan Grigg said water had been restored to the 20 homes and businesses that were cut off, but a boil water notice remains in place.

Franz Josef evacuee describes damaging floods: RNZ Checkpoint

The flooded area Photo: RNZ / YouTube

He said work was continuing on redirecting the river away from the hotel.

"The river banks themselves are being reinstated as we speak, and also they are looking to put in a lot more heavy rock and other ballast to try and hold against the tremendous power of that water. This seems to be a good chance for longer term recovery action to take place, to try and make sure it doesn't happen again."

The state of emergency for Franz Josef was lifted this morning.

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