The mayor of Whanganui, a city in the North Island of New Zealand, said the devastating flood that hit the area over the weekend will create a huge long-term effect on the economy. Clean-up operation could take up to a month. Only after then can people in North Island start to rebuild.
“The impact on our economy is going to be huge long term, we’ve got some significant problems in our rural area with roads that are completely impassable,” Annette Main told TV One’s Breakfast this morning. A report by Sky News states the clean-up alone could cost the New Zealand government millions of dollars.
One of the city’s worst hit areas is the Waitotara Valley. Residents had described the recent flooding and damage was far worse than the 2004 storm that swept through those regions and Manawatu. It is believed that there are still some 400 Whanganui residents still unable to return to their homes.
They are worried if their homes are even safe to return to after the record flooding. Main said crews have yet to start checking on houses to determine if they are still livable or not. Concerns are also mounting that the houses may have been gobbled by sewage-contaminated waters.
“This is going to be a challenging time for all of us,” she told Radio New Zealand.
She said Whanganui has a stop bank and that it had worked for a long time in holding out the incoming water. “But finally in the end the flood was too high and it went over the top.”
NZ Herald reports the flooding is the largest flood event ever recorded in the Whanganui district. The Manawatu Wanganui Regional Disaster Relief Fund Trust and Wanganui District Council Mayoral Fund was activated for people who want to make donations.
Source: YouTube/ ReutersNewsHD