The Earthquake Commission (EQC) will lead the clean-up of flood-damaged properties in Edgecumbe, say Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Gerry Brownlee and Lead Minister for Edgecumbe Anne Tolley.
“I’ve authorised EQC to clean-up all affected properties in the township, including for those homeowners who do not have insurance,” Mr Brownlee says.
“Having the Government pick up the tab for cleaning up Edgecumbe means work can get underway while cost sharing arrangements are finalised with the Whakatane District Council.
“This arrangement is similar to the management of emergency works in Canterbury following the February 2011 earthquake.
“EQC has started the clean-up efforts and contractors on the ground have already cleared about 17 properties with around 15 more currently scheduled.
“Staff will be contacting residents to discuss the work involved in clearing their properties and to offer those who are insured the opportunity to lodge a claim.
“A large part of the clean-up involves clearing the silt and debris that have inundated properties and their subfloors so the foundations can be checked and repaired,” Mr Brownlee says.
Mrs Tolley says Edgecumbe is now well into the recovery phase following the severe flooding in the region.
“The Government is committed to ensuring the people of Edgecumbe have the support they need to get back on their feet as soon as possible,” Mrs Tolley says.
“We’ve provided $500,000 of Enhanced Taskforce Green funding to employ people to assist the Council with the clean-up. Work continues on the needs assessments, and the first work crews will be up and running next week.
“Over 2,700 civil defence payments (totalling over $685,000) have been made to help people with food, clothing and bedding, and there’s also been over 220 other emergency related payments (totalling around $36,000).
“The Temporary Accommodation Service has received 60 requests to date.”
Last month, the Government announced an extra $700,000 to further support businesses, farmers and growers. Inland Revenue also waived late payment fees and penalties for those prevented from paying on time due to the flooding.
More information about EQC’s cover for this year’s flood events is online at http://www.eqc.govt.nz/get-help-now-claims/march-floods.