Letter - Forewarned is forearmed

17:00, May 04 2012

When flooding damages homes, some owners squeal about never having been warned of this possibility by the local council. In Hamilton, we get a warning (how dare they disturb our complacency!), so instead we shoot the messenger.

I attended the open day at Wintec. I found council staff courteous and helpful. They were patient, recognising that I needed time to take things in before realising the implications and arriving at further questions.

For my property, the danger is not the distant Waikato River but surface run-off from prolonged rain after the ground becomes saturated. There could be not only flood, but erosion or landslip, caused by fast water flow.

The property is now less desirable, so it will drop in value and/or be harder to sell. Bad luck. Before purchase, back in the days before Lim reports, a builder checked the house, but I never considered the stability of the land.

An up-to-date Lim report is a vital safeguard for prospective purchasers, drawing attention to unfavourable aspects, and now we hear properties will be inspected by independent engineers before any flood risk warnings are added. Let it be so and let us re-adjust our thinking in the light of reality.

DAVID HALL

Hamilton

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