The Waitaki District Council expects the cost of recent flooding damage to reach $1.5 million.

Roading manager Mike Harrison confirmed this week the council had already spent $500,000 on its recovery from the flooding, which started on July 19 in the Omarama area. The following week the rest of the district was hit with flooding, which closed State Highway 1 from Oamaru to Dunedin.

Last weekend, more rain caused flooding to areas in Ahuriri again.

Several roads throughout the district sustained significant damage from the prolonged event and, as of Tuesday, 12 roads remained closed.
Among those were Moeraki’s Haven St, which was closed on Monday due to a ‘‘reac› tivated old’’ slip.

‘‘It’s undoubtedly connected with the amount of rain we’ve had just recently, but it’s not a new slip,’’ Mr Harrison said.

‘‘We are looking at what’s happened.’’

Backyards Rd was closed after being ‘‘heavily affected’’ by the rain and Mr Harrison hoped to have it reopened at ‘‘some level’’ by the end of this week. He also expected all other closed roads to reopen by the end of the week.

The worst damage to roads was in Ahuriri, but it was widespread across the district with contractors still finding the ‘‘odd little slip and slump’’, he said.

Repair work was under way and Mr Harrison understood the community was frustrated about the damage and lengthy repair times.

‘‘They are feeling the pain. They’re asking questions about when is it going to end?,’’ he said.

The council roading team and contractors were working as fast as possible to get repairs completed, he said.

‘‘I’m really, really appreciative of just how much work’s gone on . . .I am seeing just the hours people are working that are often not seen.

‘‘There’s a real commitment coming through there from all of our suppliers and the community too.

‘‘I’m just frustrated that we can’t fix it all over night.’’

There was also an investigation of the stormwater pipe system in Otematata under way, to figure out why it continued to contribute to flooding in the area.

It was ‘‘not obvious’’ what was causing it, and there were questions surrounding whether it was at capacity, something was missing or there was a blockage.

‘‘All sorts of questions, we haven’t closed anything off yet.’’

He encouraged people to continue to drive to the conditions and watch their travelling distances.