Monday, 20 March 2017

Closest to the epicentre, Waiau slowly recovers as power and water restored

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Power and water has been restored in the Waiau township but surrounding farms could face further losses if their supply is not fixed.

Hurunui District Council infrastructure services delivery manager Dan Harris said water was again running in the North Canterbury town, which was closest to Monday's quake epicentre, but a separate feed to all rural properties in the area remained broken "and that's probably the area that's been hit the hardest".

"We're now putting a lot of focus to get that up and running," he said.

"I've been talking to several of the farmers up there today and they've got lots of stock and they need to know from us . . . how long it's going to be because they'll either have to try and find some water themselves or they're going to have to sell their stock."

Harris said a higher dose of chlorine had been added to the town supply to get it flowing on a scheme previously used until about six months ago.

All 23 30,000-litre water tanks for the town's newer supply had pivoted in the earthquake and connections had broken, he said.

Crews were working to get three of those tanks reconnected "on a hastily-laid line" above ground by the end of Thursday, to get that supply running again.

"That will be as good as what they had before, albeit reduced storage because we've lost 20 other tanks."

Mobile, landline and broadband coverage in the town also remained out of service on Wednesday, due to the fibre-optic cable which allows the service being buried under an 800-metre landslide.
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"We are working to get mobile signal into the town using a microwave link that will connect the Waiau site to our network at the nearby cell site at Mouse Point," a Spark statement said.

A Hurunui District Council spokeswoman said building inspectors had been to Waiau and more than 40 would be on the ground across the district on Thursday.


Waiau pub owners Michelle Beri and Lindsay Collins were among the many displaced after Monday's earthquake.

The pair had purchased it about 20 months ago and both lived in the building now extensively damaged after its three chimneys fell into connecting rooms.

Plaster from the ceiling and walls had fallen down in places and stock from the bar was strewn across the ground amid the bricks.

"It's not worth fixing, it'll cost more to repair than it's worth. It's insured, but no insurance will bring back it's character," Collins said.

Nobody had been hurt in Waiau, which was the main thing, Beri said.

Both Beri and Collins would stay in the town's motor camp until friends were confident they could move back into their houses.

"I don't know what this town is going to do without its local pub, the locals have been so supportive," Collins said.

Article Source: Stuff

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