Repairs to roads, farms under way after storm

CHLOE WINTER
Last updated 09:00 22/05/2014
 The Loft

THEN AND NOW: The concrete base of the crossing at the Shingle Fans on Awatere Valley Rd was undermined during the Cyclone Ita storm in April, left, but repair work is now under way.

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Work has started on a new crossing structure at the Shingle Fans on the Awatere Valley Rd after the concrete base was undermined when the tail end of Cyclone Ita swept through the district just before Easter.

Marlborough Roads highway manager Frank Porter said the road was the worst affected by the storm damage after the April 17 deluge.

Repairs were well under way and it was open to all traffic, he said.

The priority was on restoring the roading network to a safe condition and then follow up with permanent repairs on a priority basis.

Work was also continuing on Port Underwood Rd and Kenepuru Rd.

Tumbledown Bay Rd was open to all traffic but was awaiting re-metalling as the area dried out, Porter said.

The Marlborough District Council's total claim for storm damage to the roads was $1.8 million. Its share will be $900,000, if it receives funding assistance from the NZ Transport Agency.

Kaikoura District councillor Derrick Millton said farmers were hard at work rebuilding fences but the cleanup was progressing well.

"Everyone is flat out working at it . . . this fine weather has been a blessing. There is still a lot of work out there to be done though."

About 10 to 15 farmers in the area were affected by the storm but everyone was relatively positive and appreciated any assistance, he said.

"People are able to cope with it and are able to get around their farms while they couldn't before."

Labour Party Kaikoura electorate candidate Janette Walker said there was still a bit of work to be done.

The former farmer said she tried to get help from the Salvation Army, WorkPlus and periodic detention workers but was told it was "probably not the right fit for the community".

"I approached the organisations and subject to approval offered it to a couple of farmers, but I never heard back. I know what it's like to shovel tonnes and tonnes of clay and if people were offering to do it for free, I would be happy," Walker said.

"It's their call. I understand. There is just still a lot of work to be done."

National Party Kaikoura electorate candidate Stuart Smith said the land was taking time to dry out.

"It's farming. This is what happens . . . no-one wants it, no-one enjoys it.

"Of course they would always rather that it didn't happen but they are just getting on with it."

Generally, people were in "good spirits", Smith said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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