What Now? See Denis Tegg's Video Montage
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 12:07PM
Bill Barclay

I have avoided further comment on the outcome of the events on 4-5 January - the Civil Defence performance picked up, and the reports on the progress of the recovery phase appeared at regular intervals. Further, the performance of Higgins - the contractors, had been exemplary from day one - that was obvious and needed no emphasis from this direction.

What is required now is some refection on the situation after the storm, and just what we may expect in the future. Denis Tegg's early warning was not not particularly well heeded by those in control of preparations - in particular, the issuing of coastal warnings at a higher level that ever before. Leave aside for the moment the argument over sea-level rise, what happened was predictable just by putting together the falling barometric pressure, the known tide level (highest for the year), and the direction from where the storm was building.

These factors were known, or, predicted from about 1 January on, but little or nothing happened, and although we can all agree with Mayor Sandra's unstinting praise for Civil Defence after the event, the early response did appear to be lacking.

To add some reality to the situation, Denis Tegg has produced a splendid YouTube video of these factors, and made it available to all - it lays no blame - it simply lays out the facts as we know them, and at the same time provides an evidential photo-montage to which many contributed.

I believe that we are all indebted to Denis for the professional manner in which he has gone about producing this video. It shows what we can expect should this combination of factors occur again in the future - further similar high tides are  due again in early February, and there is little evidence of any restoration of what were clearly quite inadequate defences along Tararu seafront from the Sailing Club to Wilson St. Some of these defences are of course private but their collapse led to the substantial and unprecedented inundation into 20 to 30 properties that lie behind. 

I suspect that the Council will resist at all cost participating in the restoration of these defences, but regardless of the its problematic responsibility generally for new seawall and other defences elsewhere, I consider that it does have a responsibility to help out with the restoration of existing infrastructure, and ASAP.

See Denis's video here: 

https://youtu.be/CwZklEtYy8c

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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