OPINION: Just as Southland farmers were receiving praise from local authorities on their improved winter grazing practices, new photos surfaced of cows knee-deep in mud.
Emergency Management Southland (EMS) controller Bruce Halligan says this is despite a huge effort to talk to Southland farmers affected by last week’s flooding.
“We are concerned that some farmers who may have already been contacted, and said they were coping, will need help as they assess the damage to their properties and begin to realise the amount of work and resource required.”
“Rural Support Trust and other organisations are well resourced to provide help – all they need to do is call 0800 787-254 and they can swing into action.”
He says EMS are working to reach all areas affected by the flooding, including areas further north and west such as as Garston, Athol, lower Oreti, and Fiordland.
He says that people living on rural lifestyle blocks should get in touch with the Rural Support Trust if they have needs or information they would like to pass on.
Rural Support Trust has been in contact with nearly 900 farmers over the past few days and has identified dozens of farmers that need significant help in clearing flood debris, fences, and other essential repair work.
“The Farmy Army, organised by Federated Farmers, was active over the weekend with dozens of volunteers doing great clean-up work at farms around Edendale, Riversdale and the lower Mataura area.”
There is still lots of work to do, however, and there is an ongoing call for volunteers, co-ordinated by Federated Farmers.