Flood recovery office set up

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A local recovery office has been set up in the Gore district to help those affected by last month’s floods.

The local recovery office (LRO) led by Group Recovery Office manager Ken Swinney, is based out of Emergency Management Southland (EMS) in Invercargill.

The LRO reports to the Group Recovery Office and Gore District Council.

Two co-ordinators, Shelley Lithgow based in Gore and Eleanor Ranstead in Mataura, have been appointed for the district.

Mrs Lithgow said the situation is unprecedented.

“We really don’t know what issues may come up for people,

The LROs were created to assist people where and when needed.

“As everyone’s situation is different there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The co-ordinators were being responsive to individual’s needs as they arose, she said.

Mrs Ranstead said the community members had bounced back well after the flooding.

“Community resilience is high with everyone doing their bit to help each other out,”  Mrs Ranstead said.

More than a month on from Southland’s floods Emergency Management Southland (EMS) is continuing with recovery efforts, with advice and support still widely available.

Mr Swinney said while for many the flooding event was history, those directly affected needed ongoing support to deal with the challenges they were facing.

“We still have some major disruption to deal with – there are still people and families who are out of their flood-damaged homes, Mr Swinney said.

There were 19 residential properties affected, with some people taking up the temporary accommodation option provided through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, others staying with friends and family and some finding alternative temporary accommodation.

A business survey was being done to get a better handle on issues arising from the flooding.

A meeting of councils and other stakeholders on March 26 will help develop a wind-down strategy covering any outstanding issues.

Anyone wanted to talk about their situation could contact Mrs Lithgow on 021198-8081 or Mrs Ranstead on 027774-6588.