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Council to commission independent review over Edgecumbe flood

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 10/04/2017
A screengrab from a video showing flooding in Edgecumbe. © Malcolm Growden / Facebook A screengrab from a video showing flooding in Edgecumbe.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is commissioning an independent review of the circumstances that led to the flooding at Edgecumbe.

It will be headed by Sir Michael Cullen. 

Mr Leader said the terms of reference were still to be set and the other panel members yet to be appointed.

However, he hoped the review panel would be able to report back by the end of July.

The Bay of Plenty town was hit by a wall of water after a stopbank on the Rangitāiki River burst on Thursday, flooding the town and forcing its 1600 residents to flee.

Returning home

Meanwhile, residents in parts of north Edgecumbe will hopefully be able to return to their homes from 8am tomorrow.

Whakatāne district mayor Tony Bonne said people who lived on College Rd, north of Rata Ave, should be able to go back home.

That area covered about 130 homes, and water, power and wastewater were due to be back on tomorrow as well.

Those residents would be able to access the town from West Bank Rd, he said.

Residents of 45 properties on the east side of the Rangitaiki River were able to return home this morning.

The Whakatāne District Council said it was hoping to open further areas as soon as it could.

Building inspectors would start doing full checks of buildings tomorrow, to determine which houses could be repaired.

Prime Minister Bill English told Morning Report the government was discussing a support package for the town, with more details to be released in the coming days.

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