Regional Council keeps staff ready for flooding

Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional staff have a hands on lesson in sandbagging containment at the regional council depot in Whakatāne.

Regional Council staff are making sure their skills are sharp with a refresher flood monitoring course.

Close to 60 people attended the course at Bay of Plenty Regional Council last week.

Flood monitors are people who are trained in stopbank inspections and who report back with real time information to the regional council’s dedicated high-tech flood room during a heavy rain event.

Regional Council Engineering Manager Mark Townsend says the training events are held every two years to ensure people who monitor floods are up to date with the latest technology and that information and processes are still fresh in their minds, even if there hasn’t been a significant flood in some years.

As different rivers react differently in a flood each workshop focuses on one river, in this case the Whakatāne River.

The refresher included watching footage from past events, practicing using new monitoring equipment, learning computer systems, visiting key sites along the Whakatāne River, an overview of the flood room and how it would mobilise in an event and practicing sandbagging containment.

“This workshop has been incredibly valuable in ensuring our pool of people who are trained to monitor floods are prepared to face any future heavy rain events we might have.

“It is essential we have the right people on the ground to send the right information back to the flood room to ensure we make the best decisions on behalf of our community.

“This is particularly important with our changing climate as we can expect to see more heavy rain events in the future.”




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