Ashburton community 'still reeling' two weeks after destructive flooding

Two weeks on from Canterbury's devastating floods work is "slowly" getting underway to repair Ashburton's damaged farms, roads and bridges, the town's mayor Neil Brown says.

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The Canterbury town's mayor, Neil Brown, says two weeks on they still don't know the cost of the damage. Source: Breakfast

However, this morning he told Breakfast the full cost of the damage is still unknown.

A fortnight ago, the town, about one hour south of Christchurch, was lashed with severe weather, causing extensive flooding, road closures and damaged a main bridge in and out of the town.

In an update today, Brown said they are now in "the recovery phase".

"We're doing okay but some parts of the community are still reeling over the havoc that was caused with the flooding."

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The clean up of the Ashburton floods is expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Source: 1 NEWS

He said there was "a lot of destruction out there on the farms", with 20 to 30 worst hit farms unlikely to be fully repaired.

There's another 40 to 60 farms with moderate damage.

"If farmers are out there and they're feeling a little bit tough, if they text 1737 and they can get someone to talk to them if they need that support that way," Brown urged.

Source: TVNZ

Meanwhile, he also said the State Highway 1 Ashburton Bridge which slumped in the severe weather event was doing "okayish", but added that it would take four to six weeks until it is fully repaired.

Another four bridges need rebuilding and there's "a lot of work to do on the roads", Brown said.

"The work is slowly progressing on them. We've just about got all the roads open ... by the end of next week we hope to have all the roads back open to some degree.

"It's a big job, there was a lot of damage and the contractors are out there working hard to get them open."

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The effects of this week’s flooding are dragging on. Source: 1 NEWS

At the moment, locals can use the roads to access their properties but they are generally for four-wheel-drive vehicles at this stage.

Meanwhile, the river is back down to low levels and Brown said there were 50 to 60 volunteers, including from the Student Volunteer Army and local organisations, out on the ground every day working in the clean up mission.

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Torrential rain saw the river’s flow rocket up to nearly 1500 cubic metres a second. Source: 1 NEWS