Flood cause claim rubbished
A piece of construction debris blamed for flooding a busy suburban street is being labelled a scapegoat by a local board member.
During a winter downpour residents of a Mt Roskill neighbourhood weathered water lapping at their doorsteps - flooding which the council says was caused by the debris blocking a drainpipe.
But May Rd neighbours Jee Lee Goh and Annie Etana say the soggy problem has been slowly rising.
"When I moved here 10 years ago it wasn't that bad, but recently I noticed when it rains heavily my garden fills with inches of water," Ms Goh says.
"The water isn't going down the storm drain properly, when it's raining heavily it goes very slowly. I'm worried it's going to come inside the house."
Ms Etana has been battling a sodden lawn on her low-lying property for some time.
There is a storm drain in the middle of her yard, but if it gets blocked her property will be flooded.
"It doesn't come inside, thank God," she says.
Both women say they have had poor response from the Auckland Council when seeking a remedy.
Ms Goh says: "Each time it happens I call the council and they told me it is my responsibility because it's within my boundary."
She says she called the council five times on the worst day of flooding.
Mrs Etana says: "They've got to come and do their job, not brush us off."
Auckland Council stormwater manager Craig McIlroy says there has been a significant investment in improving customer service levels around stormwater.
"The team is disappointed that a resident did not get a reasonable response," he says.
Mr McIlroy says the debris incident "serves as a reminder that when rubbish isn't disposed of properly it can be easily washed into the stormwater system by rain, blocking the drains and causing flooding problems".
He says the council is aware of drainage issues in the Mt Roskill area and is investing millions of dollars in a range of projects.
Puketapapa Local Board member Nigel Turnbull says the blocked drain story does not wash with him.
He says the $768 million the council has apparently allocated for stormwater projects over the next 10 years is a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed.
"This is less than 10 per cent of what is required to adequately upgrade our underground infrastructure and is consigning our community to on-going floods over the next decade," he says.
"For Auckland to be a truly liveable city requires us to prioritise what is important to residents."
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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