Environment Waikato and Thames-Coromandel District Council are making good progress over protecting people’s lives in a flood-prone part of Coromandel township.
With financial help from central Government, they have purchased three of four at-risk properties on Albert Street, and are in negotiations to buy the fourth.
The land involved is to be retired from residential use and will be owned by EW for flood management purposes, while TCDC will run the area as a park.
“The purchases mean expensive flood protection measures won’t be necessary and will significantly reduce the risk of death or injury to local people if the houses remained where they are,” said EW’s river and catchment services group manager Scott Fowlds.
During the weather bomb of June 2002 and the Coromandel Easter flood of 2003 the four properties experienced severe flooding.
It is judged that there is a risk to life from flooding once every 20 years if the houses remained occupied and a ”very high” risk once every 100 years.
“Engineering solutions to protect these properties were explored and assessed as being not feasible technically and economically,” said Mr Fowlds.
“The removal of occupied homes from the properties provides the only acceptable long term solution.”
TCDC’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Ruru said the property purchases stemmed from joint flood mitigation work undertaken by the two councils after the 2002 weather bomb.
“The Albert Street purchases are part of a wider project to mitigate flooding on the peninsula,” Mr Ruru said.
“Other measures include pest control, more engineering works and looking at controls on where development can take place."