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Jacqui Dean urges councils to prepare for extreme weather events

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Extreme weather events across Otago and South Canterbury in 2017 have prompted Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean to urge local councils to make sure they have their emergency plans in order.

"Weather extremes around the region have ranged from torrential downpours and flooding, to severely dry conditions, and according to the weather experts 2018 may be no different.

"As we continue to experience more of these extreme weather events, I think it’s timely for councils to consider ways in which they can be prepared for, and lower the risks and costs of, potential weather disasters.

"Torrential rain caused terrible flooding and damage in Timaru in July, while in November the Roxburgh township was cut-off after a massive downpour hit the town.

"Weather-related events like this take a huge toll and can cost communities, businesses, farmers and the like, many thousands of dollars.

"That’s why I believe it’s important for local councils to acknowledge the significant impact weather events are likely to have in the future and be prepared to tackle them head-on.

"I congratulate the Mackenzie and Waimate District Councils on recognising a need for better coping strategies, establishing emergency reserve funds to tackle the cost of weather events.

"I think this is proactive and sensible, and I would encourage other councils around the Otago region, who haven’t already done so, to look at including weather event contingencies into their long term plans."

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