Flooded old homes doomed

00:16, Dec 31 2010

Some flood-damaged Golden Bay homes may have to be condemned, district councillor Martine Bouillir says.

The cleanup of Tuesday's storm damage to homes, farms, roads and bridges is continuing and affected residents are making insurance claims.

Ms Bouillir said some of the houses would be condemned because they were beyond salvaging.

"The fine silt that gets into everything is very damaging. Some of the houses are old and to try to repair them may cost far more than knocking them down."

The worst affected homes were in the Aorere Valley, Ferntown area.

Today Civil Defence staff were holding a debrief in Golden Bay, West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor was visiting the flood-affected areas and Tasman District Council held another meeting that included Rural Support Trust officer Ian Blair.


Council engineering manager Peter Thomson said it had 33 people on an assistance list with whom it was going to keep in contact to ensure they were aware of what help was available.

"We know the community is trying to literally dig itself out of the flood. There is a lot of silt and salt, a lot of fences gone. Farmers are dealing with their domestic matters and trying to keep their farm going dealing with stock, there's a lot for them to contend with. In terms of welfare support they need to know where to go."

Ms Bouillir said the community had rallied amazingly well. "While it's awfully sobering, there's not a feeling of pessimism," she said.

She did not believe there was a need for a public appeal, as happened following the Greymouth mining tragedy and the Christchurch earthquakes.

The Earthquake Commission has received 20 claims for damage from this week's wet weather, including 15 from the Marlborough district, but none from Tasman.

Mr Thomson said the TDC was focused on repair work but when more staff were back at work it would assess the cost of damage to property. He expects infrastructure repairs will take three to six months. All roads have reopened, but drivers needed to take care.

Marlborough District Council has urged flood-affected residents to contact it for assistance advice.

  More stories, p2, 12.

The Nelson Mail