Full extent of Cyclone Dovi damage still being assessed
2 Mar 2022, 4:49 PM
There is no short-term fix for the reinstatement of Waitomo District roads severely impacted by the recent Cyclone Dovi.
That is the message from Waitomo District Council’s General Manager Infrastructure Services, Shyamal Ram, who says permanent repairs to the most damaged roads could take up to two years.
The February cyclone was not predicted to have such a major impact, however, it swept throughout the district causing extensive flooding and slips, with the coastal communities of Marokopa and Te Anga bearing the brunt.
The entire district experienced high levels of flooding. Te Kuiti’s Mangaokewa Stream burst its bank, Piopio suffered severe roading damage and sections of State Highway 4 and 30 were impassable.
These are just a few examples of the cyclone’s impact.
Waitomo District Council is very aware of the huge losses for some farmers and other businesses and has worked on obtaining funding relief.
A total of $200,000 will be made available for local Rural Support Trusts and Mayoral Relief Funds to help recovery efforts in Waitomo, Taranaki and Wairarapa. Waitomo will receive its share of $30,000 through a Mayoral Relief Fund.
Shyamal says it may be some time until the full extent of the destruction caused by Cyclone Dovi is realised as staff and engineers are still assessing the damage before remedial options can be proposed.
“Following the storm, contractors were immediately deployed to clear the roads where it was safe to do so. The majority of the roads have been cleared and are partially opened, and temporary repairs will be undertaken where possible.
“Due to the serious damage caused on some roads, permanent repairs could take anywhere between six to 24 months.”
The financial implication of the cyclone is also still to be determined for the local roading network, while discussions with Waka Kotahi – NZTA are underway.
Waka Kotahi will be a significant funder alongside Council for the repair work needed on the district’s roads.
“The actual level of financial support is calculated based on a range of factors and takes into account the actual cost of repair once that is fully identified and agreed.”
Shyamal says Council will take a three-phased approach to reinstate the district’s damaged roading network. We are currently in Phase 2 of the reinstatement.
Phase 1 – Clearing and opening roads where it is safe to do so
Phase 2 – Cleaning and disposing slip materials left on roadsides
Phase 3 – Designing and constructing remedial options.
Shyamal says Council staff, Inframax Construction Ltd and other contractors have been working fastidiously since the cyclone to alleviate any further impact to residents.
“Thanks to the continued dedication of the roading team and Inframax, many of our roads are open again, albeit with some reduced to one lane.
“We are very grateful for their commitment and we ask that all road users drive to the prevailing road conditions and remain alert for the site specific speed restriction and lane warning signs put in place by WDC.”
Current status of local roads
Taumatatotara West Road
View Terrace, Piopio
Partially open (Active slips which are affecting one or both lanes):
Te Anga Road
Taumatatotara East Road
Te Waitere Road