Storm Damage Clean Up Continues

6 August 2013

The earthquakes may have taken over as the main topic of conversation for Wellingtonians in the past couple of weeks - but your City Council is still dealing with the aftermath of the furious southerly storm that lashed the region in June.

Council worker dwarfed by enormous root ball of a fallen tree.

One of the trees blocking the track between the city and Hataitai

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We now expect the total cost of the storm for the Council to reach $4 million or more. Most of the cost is expected to stem from repairs to roads and seawalls around the harbour entrance and on the south coast. And about $1 million is expected to be spent on the huge clean-up of fallen trees that’s still under way.

The Council’s City Networks Manager - and Civil Defence Controller - Stavros Michael says apart from the well-documented damage to the seawall at Island Bay, the roadway was seriously undermined by heavy seas at a number of spots on the coast and around the bays on the Miramar Peninsula.

He says repair work will start once designs have been completed and contracts let.

The Council’s Tree Team Manager, David Spencer, says the focus is now on the main tracks and commuter routes through the Town Belt and reserves. David says clearing damaged trees will take the rest of the year. The Council has now received more than 1,200 calls reporting tree damage.

Some of the calls are about trees on private property. The Council’s tree team doesn’t have the capacity to help with these but our Contact Centre - (04) 499 4444 - can provide a list of arborists.

The trees being cleared will be sold to help pay for the work so we can’t supply firewood and David says people should not try to collect their own from these areas as it is too dangerous.

The Council is also working with a forestry consultant to get the best return from timber in the Spicer Forest, Southgate Park, Tawatawa Reserve and a severely damaged block of pine trees on the Berhampore Golf Course.

A large number of pines came down at Willowbank Reserve in Tawa and others will have to be felled. Work is expected to start in the next few weeks and take about three weeks.

Fallen trees have made some of the city’s tracks impassable and others potentially dangerous, so people are reminded to take extra care and heed all warning signs.