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Published: 2001-02-22 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has almost completed a new stopbank to protect the Parry St area of Huntly which was inundated during the 1998 winter flood.

Construction began on the earthworks in January and is likely to be completed next week. Once finished, access to the boat ramp will start and will be finished by early March. The stopbank has been built in two sections, with the first section from the corner of Parry and George Clay Streets past the Waahi Whanui complex to protect Parry Street from flooding. It will also help maintain access to George Clay Street and the complex during floods.

The second section extends from high ground to Harris Street to protect several Harris Street properties.

During the 1998 flood there was significant damage in Parry Street with several houses evacuated and one house flooded above the floor boards.

The work is costing $130,000, with 75 percent of funding provided by Waikato District Council.

Some sections of willows have been cleared downstream from the boat ramp and these are to be replanted with natives by horticultural students from Huntly College. The aim is to improve the area for residents and visitors, and link with objectives of the Lower Waikato Enhancement Project which is planting up banks of the Waikato River with natives.