Trees removed from floodbank

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Gone...The site of the flood bank on River St, Gore where three trees have been removed. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Three trees have been removed from the floodbank that runs alongside Gore’s River St.

Three Waters asset manager Matt Bayliss said the trees were removed so stormwater pipes that pass beneath the stopbanks could be replaced.

During the February 2020 floods a small amount of seepage occurred through the stopbanks in these locations.

“A condition assessment on the stormwater pipes was completed and it was determined that these pipes required replacement,” Mr Bayliss said.

Environment Southland catchment operations manager Ramon Strong said it was possible more trees in the area would be removed.

Staff were in the process of assessing how to make Gore more resilient to flooding in the wake of the 2020 floods.

One of the likely impacts of climate change would be more frequent large floods.

“Our focus is on keeping people and property safe and having trees on stopbanks can compromise the integrity of the structure, increasing the risk of failure during a flood event.

“Trees on or beside stopbanks can weaken the structure with their roots creating seepage flow paths, increasing the risk of failure.”

Trees between the stopbanks and the river could also cause problems, such as slowing flood flows and increasing the risk of floodwater spilling over the bank.

This had happened in the 2020 flood.

“The Mataura River forms something of a bottleneck through the town.”