After days of continuous rain, the Tokomairaro River flooded high enough to reach stored car›wrecks at Kiwi Auto Parts, in Milton.
Acting on previous complaints from residents who were concerned automotive fluids might be polluting the waterway, Otago Regional Council (ORC) said last week they had inspected the site and conducted water testing and were satisfied there was no environmental risk.
But when water levels rose high enough in the days that followed to reach and immerse dozens of stored vehicles, residents’ concerns were reignited.
‘‘The river always floods when it rains hard,’’ one resident, who asked not to be named, said.
‘‘We always knew this would happen. They should never have allowed a wreckers to set up there.’’
ORC’s regulatory and communications manager Richard Saunders said staff visited the Milton car yard site last Thursday and took water samples, but tests had not yet been returned.
“Following the floods, staff will meet with the yard to discuss any further work that is required to mitigate any additional risks posed by flooding,” Mr Saunders said.
Aaron Bashir, of Kiwi Auto Parts, said he and the owner of the business were unhappy about the flooding and were already in negotiations with the landowner about options to help change the storage layout of their stock.