Deluge triggers memories of last year’s flooding

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Monday night’s heavy rain, along with the roar of water and rocks rushing through the culvert beside her property, made Milica Sale nervous.

She could hear the water and the noise of a digger and it brought back memories of the devastating flood in Roxburgh on November 26 last year.

“I looked out the window at 2am and I could hear, over the television, the noise of the water going through the culvert, and I heard the digger removing debris from the creek,” Ms Sale said.

Although she did not think it would be flooded to the extent it was a year ago, she still felt nervous and concerned.

“I could see a light [from the digger] and I could see the water up to the pipeline.”

Contractors with diggers worked through Monday night and Tuesday to clear debris away from the streams and culverts beside Quail Haven and near the Roxburgh Golf Course, to prevent a repeat of last year’s devastation.

The road from Coal Creek to Millers Flat was closed but reopened about noon on Tuesday.

Many other roads in the Teviot Valley and Maniototo district were also closed. Some reopened yesterday but parts of many roads were still closed as of yesterday morning.

It is only a few days to the one-year anniversary of the intense rainstorm that washed debris down into Roxburgh’s creeks and culverts and over the road.

That deluge forced residents to evacuate their properties in Tweed St and Paisley Pl, damaged the school and other property, and broke power, sewerage and water lines.

The damage to roads mean the township was cut off for several days.

This week’s heavy rain caused some surface flooding and debris to flow through the township’s creeks.

Ms Sale and her Tweed St neighbours had to be evacuated as a result of last year’s flood and many lost much of their gardens, or had houses damaged.

She lost her garage, and its replacement, which is nearly complete, has taken nearly a year to build. She is still waiting for further work to her driveway and will eventually replant her garden.

The Otago Regional Council wrote to Teviot Valley residents on November 1, outlining the work done to repair the flood damage.

Following public feedback about how to mitigate damage from any future floods, it is seeking expert advice on improvements to Reservoir Creek and is reseeding the channels that were exposed in the flood last year.

It has also cleared Stephenson’s Creek and installed a digital rain gauge in the hills behind Roxburgh so rain events can be monitored online as they happen.