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Categories: World & Regional

Defence Force helps clean-up flood damage in Westport

The Defence Force is helping to remove flood-ruined furniture and belongings from Westport streets and homes today.

The crews started work this morning collecting carpet and household items that were put out on the kerb in Menzies Street.
Photo: RNZ / Samantha Gee

Last weekend’s floods have left up to 100 Westport homes red stickered meaning they have suffered severe or irreparable damage, while other houses have yellow stickers in their front windows indicating they suffered more moderate damage and are safe to reoccupy once they have been cleaned or repaired.
There are 28 soldiers on the ground to assist the Buller District Council and contractors in the clean-up.

Couches and furniture are being carried out of homes and loaded with diggers into trucks to be taken away and disposed of.
Photo: RNZ / Samantha Gee

Lieutenant Daniel Lastovicka said it was a very large job.
“Out on the street, we’ve got a lot of furniture, carpets, beds, all that sort of stuff that’s been in those flood damaged houses where the water’s come up to their window level,” he said.
“It’s all been brought out to the street by the household owners and we’re just getting that off the streets to reduce any public health risks.
“It’s built up pretty bad, almost looks a little bit like a war zone.”
Many of the soldiers would be returning to work in isolation facilities for Operation Protect after helping with the clean-up, he said.

NZDF Lieutenant Daniel Lastovicka says there are 28 soldiers in Westport assisting with the clean up.
Photo: RNZ / Samantha Gee

A Temporary Accommodation Service has been set up to help those people whose homes were damaged by the flooding and severe weather across the West Coast and Marlborough regions.
Anyone who needs accommodation support following the flooding is encouraged to either register their details at www.tas.mbie.govt.nz or to call 0508 754 163.

The New Zealand Defence Force, Buller District Council staff and Westreef contractors are working together to remove flood damaged items from homes in Westport.
Photo: RNZ / Samantha Gee

Some Marlborough communities still isolated after flooding
Marlborough agencies and contractors are still working to re-connect communities left isolated by flooding over the weekend.
Residents are being warned to expect the status of roads to change daily.
Currently Queen Charlotte Drive between Linkwater and Havelock remains closed to all vehicles, while the end of the road from Picton has limited access for residents.
Kenepuru Road between Linkwater and Willow Bay is only accessible to residents, as are all roads past Portage Bay, while the section from Willow Bay to Portage Bay is still closed to everyone.