Family wake to flooding

19:17, Aug 09 2012
Edmund White
Water, water everywhere: Floodwaters were flowing around Edmund White’s Grassmere Rd house when he woke up yesterday morning. His neighbours were not so lucky, as water flowed through their home.

Maree Spence was jolted into action after seeing a stream of water run past her bedroom window early yesterday morning.

"I was shocked to see how much water I did see out there," she said.

The Spence family, of Seddon, woke up to a flooded house following heavy rain overnight. Their eight-hectare property in Grassmere Rd was inundated and water had seeped through most of the house.

April Spence
Nightmare weather: April Spence, 12, and Leighton Spence, 9, sit on their trampoline outside their house which was flooded early yesterday.

It is the second time the Spences' home has flooded in three years.

Mrs Spence rushed to get daughter April, 12, and son Leighton, 9, out of bed before calling Civil Defence Marlborough about 4.30am. She told them a tractor or similar would be needed to evacuate residents if the floodwaters continued to rise.

Marlborough Emergency Management Group services manager Ross Hamilton alerted the Awatere Rural Fire Force, which checked on the welfare of residents about 6am.


Friends turned up later in the morning to help with the cleanup.

Water had gone through the lounge, kitchen and dining areas, the bathroom and toilet, but thankfully the bedrooms were not damaged, Mrs Spence said.

The insurance assessor and a carpet cleaning company were on the scene yesterday afternoon.

Despite the shock, Mrs Spence remained positive as the family still had power, water and a working toilet - husband Lane had gone to get a pump from his father for the septic tank to stop it overflowing. The water both outside and inside the house had receded quickly, and only the carpet had been damaged, Mrs Spence said.

"I just think of the flooding in Christchurch, and the people who have had to deal with that there.

"When you look at that, we got off pretty light."

Heavy rain has lashed Marlborough since Tuesday.

The rain gauge at the family's property recorded 62 millimetres of rainfall on Wednesday night, Mrs Spence said.

No other homes in Grassmere Rd were flooded. Their house was lower than the other residents' and a creek ran through their property.

"I think we take the brunt of it because of the creek."

Grassmere Rd remains closed; water has flooded the road for about 100 metres from the intersection with State Highway 1, although several residents were able to get through with a four-wheel drive.

The Marlborough Express