Christchurch City Council works on options to reduce Heathcote River flooding impact

Christchurch City Council is working on options to reduce the impact on flooding from the Heathcote River.
ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFF

Christchurch City Council is working on options to reduce the impact on flooding from the Heathcote River.

Purchasing properties, raising homes and dredging are all options being considered to reduce the impact of flooding along the Heathcote River.

Residents living along parts of the Christchurch river have put up with flooding for years. Several properties were inundated with water during a storm in July, when 13 homes flooded above floor level.

Christchurch City Council land drainage manager Keith Davison said the council was exploring all options for reducing flood risk along the river, including storage basins, dredging and bank stabilisation, engineered structures and property purchase or house raising.

A home next to the Heathcote River floods near Sloane Tce in July.
ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFF

A home next to the Heathcote River floods near Sloane Tce in July.

Consultants were finalising an options report on flood plain management and until the report was complete it was premature to say which options would be recommended, Davison said.

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The options would be presented to the community at meetings in mid-October. 

In 2016, the council offered to purchase seven properties in the Flockton/Dudley Creek area in Mairehau after staff found they were at risk of frequent above-floor flooding even after the $48 million Dudley flood mitigation scheme was completed.

At the time, the council said similar buy-outs could be in store for other high-risk flood areas in the city.

City councillors representing wards surrounding the Heathcote River have been pushing for the council to come up with solutions to reduce the flooding risk.

At Thursday's council meeting, Mayor Lianne Dalziel said Flockton had been "the number one priority", but there was no question Heathcote River was next.

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"We are working hard to make sure people in that area get the security they are looking for. There's not going to be one answer."

Dalziel said it was a challenging issue because there were more than one set of options.

"There is no magic wand and no magic bullet. It is challenging and frustrating and difficult."

Cr Tim Scandrett said families at risk of flooding were worried every time it rained.

He said a solution in one area could adversely affect another area.

Cr Pauline Cotter said staff needed to get everything lined up and then they would be prepared to face the community with "good robust information".

Cr Phil Clearwater said the council had the "best staff in the country" working flat out on this issue.

 - Stuff

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