Disaster Management

DSC_2556It is anything but ‘business as usual’ when a natural disaster occurs

Natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, bushfires, coastal erosion, floods, droughts, cyclones, and tsunamis can often result in catastrophe for communities.

Preparedness, response, recovery, hazard mitigation, and implementation are the five pillars of our disaster resilience response offering. MWH, now part of Stantec, has the proven capability and experience for supporting clients through all stages of disaster resilience for events of almost all sizes.

We provide a comprehensive suite of natural disaster engineering services that support virtually all market sectors and client requirements, including:

  • Earthquake recovery and resilience planning
  • Climate change preparedness, protection, planning
  • Emergency response and recovery
  • Flood and stormwater assessments
  • Landslide hazard assessment and mitigation

Our global leverage means we are well placed to meet client and delivery needs in times of crisis. The experts we have on hand can respond proactively, ensure reliability and provide sustainable solutions for our clients. We understand that a disaster’s requirements vary during each event, and we are proud to bring our expertise to developing resilient communities.

Check out some of our featured disaster management and recovery projects below:

DSC_2528The 14 November 2016, Kaikoura Earthquake was magnitude 7.8 and resulted in severe damage to infrastructure, property and the surrounding environment. Some of the resulting damage caused by the earthquake were a number of large landslides in and around the North Canterbury and Southern Marlborough region. In numerous areas, the landslides near waterways have created landslide dams which can pose a risk to communities and infrastructure further downstream if they were to fail.

Christchurch-based Dams Specialist, Matthew Shore, has been working with local authorities in the region to advise and inform them around the newly formed dams.  In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, this work has also included the identification of homes at risk in the event of landslide dam breach for emergency evacuation

In addition to Matthew Shore, another member of our team helping with the recovery efforts is Principal Engineer, Don Young, who has been engaged by Kaikoura District Council as the Infrastructure Recovery Manager.

Tasman FloodingOn December 15, 2011, Nelson was hit by a devastating 1 in the 500-year flood. Record high rainfall caused extensive landslips across the district taking out roads, houses, and infrastructure and adding huge sediment loads into the swollen rivers and streams. This was exacerbated by the flood debris created by slips and bank erosion and carried by the flood waters. New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defence declared a state of emergency over both Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council with a joint population around 87,000 people.

During this state of emergency, our team of geotechnical and infrastructure engineers helped New Zealand’s Civil Defence by undertaking public health and safety assessments and coordinating the flood response to Tasman District Council’s roading and utility contractors.

In the new year, the flood recovery began in earnest when Tasman District Council commissioned MWH to undertake the engineering for the flood repairs which included:

  • Preparation of an extensive flood damage list in coordination with Tasman District Council
  • Planning and managing the implementation of damage site and repair option assessments
  • Preparing damage repair cost estimates and programs
  • Implementing the design, procurement and construction monitoring of damage repairs
  • Collating and developing flood damage cost databases to provide for insurance claims

The MWH team has been acclaimed by Tasman District Council for the speed of its response and the skill and expertise displayed during an emergency scenario.

RimutakaThe Department of Corrections (Corrections) in collaboration with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) commissioned the construction of a stormwater channel to divert an unnamed stream channel around the perimeter of the Rimutaka Prison facility and through land owned by NZDF. Corrections’ primary driver was to prevent re-occurrence of flooding damage within the prison, while NZDF’s key driver was the potential for environmental enhancement and restoration of the area.

We were responsible for the investigation of options, preliminary and detailed design activities including survey, planning, geotechnical, water, wastewater, and surface water engineering disciplines. Our team led all aspects of the project including the coordination with adjacent landowners NZDF on the use of their land for the project.

The solution required an environmental channel (of approximately 1,200m in length) with associated wetlands around the outside of the existing high-security fence. There was also additional channel widening work, large concrete culverts, and utility diversions. The channel design was completed with buy-in from both Corrections and NZDF and was integrated into an existing ecological restoration plan for the surrounding Trentham area.

The nature and size of the project required close communication with the Corrections’ Project Manager as well as Spotless and Corrections Security Staff around contractor access and identification processes. Construction is nearing completion and to date Corrections and NZDF are happy with the design outcomes and construction quality.