Weather moves in, residents move out
A week after her house flooded, resident of Christchurch's St Albans, Alison Naylor, is still staying at the Diana Isaac Retirement Village, where she works. Her elderly cat, Miss Mayfair, is still at the cattery.
The 65-year-old says life is normal "from 7am to 3pm", while she is working. However, when she is off the clock, the reality of her situation and the fact that she has "no fixed abode" sets in.
The land Naylor's Francis Ave house sits on dropped about 40 centimetres because of the earthquakes. She is sure it will flood again and is nervous at the prospect of more heavy rain this weekend. See progress of Cyclone Lusi here
"It's not something I am looking forward to - put it that way. I'm actually planning to disappear for the weekend. Enough is enough," she says.
Naylor says that if her insurers don't need to see her this weekend, she will visit some friends in Oamaru, to escape any further dramas.
An insurance assessor came to her property on Saturday, but apart from the wet carpet being removed, "nothing has been done".
Naylor won't be able to stay at the rest home for too long.
"[The insurer] will pay for temporary accommodation, but I have to get approval from them first. I expect that within the next couple of days, I should get an email from them."
She is trying to "accept . . . that it doesn't move quickly", but the fact that her home is still damp and dirty is hard to take.
"Everything is still sitting there. The cat is still at the cattery. The carpet has gone - that went on Saturday, [but] that's the only thing that has basically been moved. It's a waiting game."
She wants the Christchurch City Council or the Earthquake Commission [EQC] to get in touch with her regarding the state of the land in the area.
"The land is screwed. I'm just really waiting for the council or for EQC to decide whether we're going to stay TC3 or whether we're going to become red. Nobody has been to see me apart from the assessor."
Diane Shannon's Carrick St house also flooded last Wednesday, but she has not had to make an insurance claim - fortunately, as her excess for flood damage is now $10,000.
"EQC will pay for the carpet as part of the repairs. It's not to do with the flooding. When they re-laid it [after the earthquakes], it didn't go right to the edges. I'm very lucky, [but] what about next time?"
Carrick St resident Jo Byrne's home has flooded numerous times since the February 22, 2011, earthquake, including last week. Wednesday's event was the last straw.
Byrne, her husband and their two young children have left their home for good. The house still has a $200,000 mortgage attached to it.
Yesterday, the movers and packers were at their house and they're there again today. Everything will go into storage, until the family have some certainty.
Byrne says Flockton Basin residents need more information before they can make decisions. EQC needs to stop repair work in the area and "take a step back and see what they can do to fix things".
The family will use a $20,000 accommodation grant from their insurer on a rental property, but "once that's gone, it's gone. I only work part-time, so I will need to get some more work".
But, she says, a rental property will be better than a house that floods. And for the first time in a long time, with more heavy rain on the horizon, she doesn't "feel sick" about the forecast.