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Concerns some farmers, business owners hit by Southland flooding aren't asking for help

Civil Defence Southland is concerned some farmers and small business owners in need of help in the aftermath of last week's flooding aren't reaching out. 

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Locals in Gore, Mataura and Wyndham continue their clean-up efforts. Source: 1 NEWS

Severe flooding in the region caused by heavy rain last week saw a number of Southland towns evacuated and farms under water. 

Despite a huge effort to talk to Southland farmers Emergency Management Southland controller Bruce Halligan says there are concerns some farmers and business owners aren't getting in touch.

“We are concerned that some farmers who may have already been contacted, and said they were coping, will need help as they assess the damage to their properties and begin to realise the amount of work and resource required," says Mr Halligan.

“We’re concerned about small businesses across the region too – many of which may have been impacted by the flooding and suffered a disruption to trading or a loss of income."

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He said the businesses may be facing clean-up costs or other issues.

"Again, there is support available – all people need to do is get in touch with us and we can put them in contact with the right organisation or agency to provide advice or help," said Mr Halligan. 

Civil Defence says Rural Support Trust and other organisations are well resourced to provide help.

Rural Support Trust has been in contact with nearly 900 farmers over the past few days and has identified dozens of farmers that need significant help in clearing flood debris, fences, and other essential repair work.

“The Farmy Army, organised by Federated Farmers, was active over the weekend with dozens of volunteers doing great clean-up work at farms around Edendale, Riversdale and the lower Mataura area," he said.

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Residents were forced to flee their properties in Gore, Mataura and Wyndham after days of rain. Source: 1 NEWS

Civil Defence is working to make sure they reach the entire area affected by flooding, including areas further north and west such as Garston, Athol, lower Oreti, and Fiordland so that no-one is left out.

“People living on rural lifestyle blocks should get in touch with the Rural Support Trust if they have needs or information they would like to pass on," he said.

There is an ongoing call for volunteers co-ordinated by Federated Farmers.