Flockton flood protection two years away

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 14:30 06/03/2014
WANTING ANSWERS: Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee.
Fairfax NZ
UPSET: Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

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Flood shows hard calls must be made

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Getting permanent flood protection for homes in the Flockton basin is likely to take two years - at best.

 

Council engineers are looking at two options for permanently protecting 400 low-lying homes in the St Albans-Mairehau area from further flooding but Mayor Lianne Dalziel says even if the work can be fast-tracked it is likely to take two years to complete.

''A long-term solution in two years ... would be a dramatic improvement on the five-year fix we were working to before,'' Dalziel said this afternoon.

The council was looking at whether it could get a Private Members Bill into Parliament that would give it power to fast-track the flood protection work and had been in talks with Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

He had indicated that he would back the bill if there was cross-party support.

Council land drainage operations manager Mike Gillooly said one of the options for flood protection work being explored involved a pumping station and a bypass while the other involved significantly upgrading the channel of Dudley Creek to improve its capacity.

''Both have challenges, both have complexities,'' Gillooly said.

Dalziel said the second option had the advantage of not only protecting the homes from flooding but also improving the amenity value of the area, which in turn would help keep property values up.

Staff had been given two weeks to decide on the best option and to bring a report to council.

At the same time they were working ''day and night'' on temporary options that could protect residents from more flooding in another significant rainfall event.

Those temporary options involved building bunds and using pumps to reduce the flow of water through the area but they had to assess what impact such measures would have on other parts of the city before they took any action.

''They will be fairly straightforward to implement once we know we're not making a nuisance somewhere else,'' said Gillooly.

 

The council has previously dredged more than 5000 tonnes of silt from Dudley Creek in an attempt to alleviate the flooding risk.

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