Otago Daily Times
November 26, 1999

Insurers Estimate Flood Bill Rising to $10m
Neal Wallace

Insurers estimate last week's Central Otago floods could cost them about $10 million.

Companies are receiving a steady flow of claims but it could be some time before all insurance claims are lodged.

The Earthquake Commission is paying the first $100,000 on houses affected by landslips, with companies expected to pick up the balance.

Insurance Council chief executive Chris Ryan said claims were coming from a wide area, including Glenorchy, Queenstown, Wanaka, Alexandra, the length of the Clutha River and from areas adjacent to the Mataura River from Kingston to Mataura Island, near the southeast coast.

The Otago Regional Council yesterday allocated $620,000 to fund a clean-up of Otago rivers damaged by the floods.

At yesterday's service committee meeting, $400,000 was allocated to reinstate the Cardrona River, near Wanaka, which the council considers a priority.

The money comes from a $1.5 million emergency response fund and is an initial allocation for remedial river works in the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago districts.

Once the river had been reinstated in its natural course, it would then be up to roading authorities to repair the road.

Council chairwoman Louise Rosson said the council was pleased with the performance of the Clutha River's flood protection scheme, especially in the lower reaches.

In the next few days the council will hold a debriefing to review all aspects of the flood.