21 September 2018
Repairs to some of the properties affected by the April flooding are now complete and weary families are glad to be moving back home.
Rotorua Civil Defence co-ordinator Linda Johnston says about 10 families will be returning home in October, with more expecting to move back into their houses in November and December. A total of 94 households were displaced as a result of serious flood damage to their homes. All have endured a long wait while their homes have been repaired.
Within a week of the April event the Rotorua Lakes Council employed four kaiārahi (navigators) to provide direct support to those affected by the flooding. They have worked hard to make the process as smooth as possible for those affected by the flooding.
Nearly 1000 households registered with Council following the April event and over the past five months the kaiārahi have worked hard to follow up with everyone who registered with Council to make sure they had the assistance they needed to recover the flooding.
Linda says that despite their best efforts, the kaiārahi have been unable to make contact with 17 people who registered with Civil Defence. Linda says this is not unusual in events of this type, as some people in rented accommodation simply chose to move on to another part of the country. However, she also wishes to reassure people that if they were affected by the flood and need support, it is not too late to contact the flood recovery office on 0800 020 001 for help or advice.
Linda says some residents are still struggling with the extra costs incurred in the recovery process and applications were still being made to the Mayoral Manakitanga Relief Fund.
“Those residents would really appreciate any financial help, so we are still calling for members of the community to donate to the fund, so we can help affected families.”
The Flood Recovery Office wants to welcome residents back into their homes after what has been a long, and for some people stressful, recovery period. Linda wants local business to come on board and supply items to go to these residents. “If you could provide vouchers or discounts for the affected families it would be greatly appreciated.”
If you can help in any way please contact Linda Johnston on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07 351 8312.
Meanwhile, there are still ongoing roading repairs, bridge repairs and drain inspections taking place.
Tarawera Road and Mountain Road remain down to one lane in affected areas.
Final designs for a permanent fix on Tarawera Road are expected in coming weeks.
Rerewhakaaitu Road bridge number 3 repairs are progressing despite difficult ground conditions and bridge number 2 repairs will follow upon the completion of bridge 3.
Linda is urging residents to take the time to prepare for future emergency events.
“Get to know your neighbours and ensure you have discussed with household arrangements if an emergency occurs,” she says.
“Have a supply of water and food for three to seven days. Sign up to warnings/ alerts through BOP CDEM text alerting.”
Linda also recommends making sure insurance is up to date and for residents to understand what they are insured against.