Media release #13 – Wanganui District flooding: 18 October 2013 – 4.00pm


18/10/2013 4:00:00 p.m.

Media release #13 – Wanganui District flooding: 18 October 2013 – 4.00pm - 18/10/2013

Horizons Regional Council will temporarily strengthen an area of identified weakness in the existing stopbanks at Kowhai Park. The area of concern is very localised, close to the downstream entrance to Kowhai Park. During the flood, high water pressure caused the upper soil layers to ‘heave’.

Stopbank maintenance works are scheduled for early 2014, but Horizons has decided to put in place some temporary measures that will mitigate stopbank issues if there is another flood before then. Those measures will involve raising the existing bund around the affected area by approximately 500mm and doubling the sand bag wall thickness which will help to relieve water pressure. These works will be completed by next Monday at the latest.

Once the river has fully receded and ground conditions have dried out a little, Horizons will undertake a comprehensive inspection of the stopbank and address any other identified maintenance or temporary strengthening requirements.

Anzac Parade residents
As a precaution, residents in the evacuated area near the Motorboat Club are advised to check garages, sheds and beneath their houses in case of backflow from the wastewater system. This may have occurred when the power was shut off to the pumping stations overnight on Tuesday. If there is backflow or a strong odour, please contact the Wanganui District Council, phone 349 0001.

Kowhai Park
All of Kowhai Park remains closed. Part of the park may be opened next Wednesday, October 23.

Pumping out of ponded water in the area of Kowhai Park north of the Dublin Street Bridge should be mostly completed today.

The Kowhai Park playground area has been treated with lime and there are no health concerns. However, the area is still closed because vehicle access points are yet to be cleared. This work will begin on Monday.

Riverbanks - upstream of Aramoho Rail Bridge
Clearing of areas north of the Rail Bridge will begin next week. This includes around the Aramoho Rowing Club, Aramoho Park and Upokongaro jetty.

Riverbanks - Dublin Street Bridge to Aramoho Rail Bridge
Pumping of ponded water is continuing. From Monday crews will be clearing silt and debris.

Riverbanks – Whanganui City Bridge to Dublin Street Bridge
The boardwalk area has been cleared. Clearing of the marina area will be completed next week. The River Traders/Whanganui’s Market by the River will go ahead this Saturday, although some grassed areas near the PS Waimarie berth will be cordoned off.

All slipways will be cleared by Thursday next week.

Manhole covers
Apart from in the area of Kowhai Park upstream of the Dublin Street Bridge, all manhole covers on roads and footpaths have been checked and are confirmed to be in place. The Kowhai Park area will be checked once water pumping has been completed.

Roads update
Crews are working on Te Rimu Road as a priority to ensure that emergency services have access to Mangamahu when Wyley’s Bridge is closed for repairs from October 22 to November 5.

Motorists are advised to take care on rural roads in the district. There is still a lot of silt on the roads and if there is any rain they will become very slippery again. There is also the risk of further slips for up to a month as a result of this week’s flooding.

Road situation as at 3.00pm Friday, October 18:

Kaiwhaiki Road – partially closed (the majority of the road is open but there is a dropout towards the end of the road that is blocking access – care required for the remainder of the road)
Owhakura Road – open (care required)
Kauarapaoa Road – open (care required)
Longacre Road - open (care required)
Makirikiri Valley Road – open (care required)
Papaiti Road - open (care required)
Watershed Road- open (care required at end of road)
Whanganui River Road - open (care required – lots of silt on the road – very slippery)
State Highway 4 – open (single lane – care required – lots of silt on the road – very slippery)
Te Rimu Road - open (care required – lots of silt on the road – very slippery)
Whangaehu Valley Road – open to light vehicles and locals only (closed to through traffic until the large dropout has been assessed)
Mangamahu Road - open (care required – lots of silt on the road – very slippery)
Creek Road – open (care required – lots of silt on the road – very slippery)
Mangawhero Road – open (care required – lots of silt on the road – very slippery)
Junction Road - open (reasonably good condition)
Rangitatau East Road - open (reasonably good condition)
Ahu Ahu Valley Road - open (reasonably good condition)
Waireka Road - open (reasonably good condition)
Kaukatea Valley Road - open (reasonably good condition)
Kainui Road - open (reasonably good condition)

Twenty bridges in the district were inspected on Thursday and no issues found. The remaining bridge inspections (41) should be completed today.

Debris around the Whanganui City Bridge was cleared on Thursday but since then another tree has become lodged against the piers. We are waiting to see whether it will move with the tide.

Today the pilot boat from Wanganui Port has been assisting with clearing logs from under the PS Waimarie, removing debris from the Dublin Street Bridge piers and checking the Aramoho Rail Bridge.

Rural issues
Wanganui Rural Community Board members have been in contact with their rural networks and report that other than rural roads, they are not aware of any major issues.

Financial assistance
For financial advice or information following the flooding event, call Siobhan Gulliver at Work and Income on 965 8070.

Page reviewed: 18 Oct 2013 4:00pm